- 30% reduction in regular income has forced restructure to protect delivery of lifelong support to wounded veterans
- No recovery services are being cut, but more are being adapted towards more community and online-based support
Help for Heroes has announced a major restructure in order to protect its life-changing recovery services from the devastating financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Over recent months the military charity, which relies on public donations for 97% of income, has suffered hugely from a loss of income with all planned face-to-face fundraising events and activities since April either cancelled or postponed. The charity, which provides recovery support to the wounded, injured and sick Armed Forces community, anticipates a 30% reduction in regular income over the coming years with the ongoing economic recession.
This financial hit, coupled with a significant surge in demand for its recovery services during the height of the pandemic, meant the charity felt it had no choice but to review its service delivery and put 142 staff roles at risk, with up to 90 redundancies planned subject to consultation.
Melanie Waters, CEO, said the decision was extremely tough but the charity had a responsibility to ensure that the lifelong support promised to the men and women who suffered life-changing injuries or illnesses as a result of their service could continue against the backdrop of the pandemic.
“In 2007, we made a promise on behalf of the nation to provide lifetime support to wounded veterans, and their families, and we are striving to keep that promise.
The crisis has had a devastating impact on the whole UK charity sector, with lasting consequences, and it has hit us hard. These tough decisions have been made to protect the future of the charity and have been taken with our beneficiaries in mind.
We remain absolutely committed to our wounded and their families and will continue fighting for, and changing the lives of, those we support for as long as they need it.”
Help for Heroes was quick to adapt its support in March, despite having to furlough nearly 40% of its staff for up to seven months, and has continued to deliver virtual and remote support through its fellowship, welfare, clinical, grants and psychological wellbeing services ever since.
With significant uncertainty around the economy and ever changing COVID restrictions, the charity will continue to focus on face to face community and digital services and will not be operating out of three of its Recovery Centres for the foreseeable future. Help for Heroes will be returning to face to face delivery of centre-based services in a COVID secure environment from our Tedworth House recovery centre in Wiltshire.
The charity is working closely with MoD to ensure that all centres continue to provide core recovery activities for wounded, injured or sick Service Personnel during lockdown and beyond.
Demand for support rose significantly during lockdown with a 33% increase in new people coming forward for support with their mental health in May and June 2020 compared to the same period last year, as well as nearly 30% more new referrals into the Charity’s physical health focused service.
To donate and give much needed support helpforheroes.org.uk/donate-online/