LGBTQ+ provision boost to Forcesline

SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, is grateful to the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust which has awarded a grant, on behalf of the Office for Veterans’ Affairs, to assist in the delivery of specialist support on the Forcesline helpline.

The funding of £25,000 will be allocated to Forcesline to uplift and fully support any additional and specific needs from the veteran LGBTQ+ community which may result from the pre-2000 homosexuality ban and the recently published Independent Veterans Review by Lord Etherton.

SSAFA’s Forcesline is a free and confidential telephone helpline, webchat and email service. Forcesline sits outside the military chain of command so is a ‘safe space’. It takes a holistic approach, listening, and referring to other SSAFA services or to external organisations.

The LGBT Independent Veterans Review says:

“Some of those who offended against the policy of the Ban were either dismissed following a court-martial or administratively discharged. There were others who could not take the strain and stress of continually hiding their sexuality, and so resigned or did not extend their contract. The policy… was usually enforced in a rigorous and often brutal way with long term damaging consequences, many of which have blighted the lives of affected personnel to this day.”

The funding granted by the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust will help SSAFA to provide assistance and support to anyone affect by the Ban in the Armed Forces or the Independent Veterans Review.

Lt General Sir Andrew Gregory, CEO at SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, said:

“Members of the Armed Forces who were dismissed from the Services for homosexuality before the ban was lifted on 12th January 2000 were treated disgracefully; they have suffered financially and emotionally.  Lord Etherton’s report highlights the terrible treatment of these individuals; I and SSAFA will do everything possible to ensure these men and women, who served our Nation, are suitably supported and that the report’s recommendations are enacted.  We look forward to working with Government and other charities to achieve that.”

If you, or someone you know, is struggling and in need of support call Forcesline: 0800 260 6767 or Live Chat via:

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