Forces Charities

Here’s A Christmas Message For The Armed Forces We Can All Get Behind

Just small change. That’s all it takes to have a big impact – here’s how:

Small Change: BIG Impact

It’s not easy finding money at Christmas. We know that.

But take a look at how just some small change can have a big impact on those from the armed forces, who have served their country in the military and might now need some back-up – from all of us.

The BFBS Big Salute wants you to join in the spirit of giving to help us help the wider forces family by clicking the Donate Now button above.

The BFBS Big Salute grant paid for a new inflatable powerboat for Turn to Starboard. The charity uses sail training to support personnel and veterans affected by military operations

People like John

John struggled in the transition from military to civilian life after serving in the British Army for 22 years, finding himself homeless and eventually hitting such a low that he felt like he was going to “end it.”

Suffering what are understatedly described as “severe readjustment issues”, it was only thanks to learning about a charity – The Bridge For Heroes – that he didn’t take such drastic action. He said:

“I only had two lucid thoughts left at that point, I was either going to Google the phone number or end it.

“I Googled them, I came up here they took me in, put me back together again and now I’m a volunteer and a fundraiser.

“I’ve got the full set … house, wife, job – I lost all three in one hit. It doesn’t get much more complicated than that.

“But having somewhere, a safe haven to go to makes all the difference.”

The Bridge for Heroes charity provides a range of support including everything from respite breaks to pensions advice to guidance and housing advice, service records and medal applications.

John isn’t the only one who needs to know someone has got his back and this support service isn't the only charity.

And that is why the BFBS Big Salute wants you to help us to help the wider forces family this December.

Join us in the spirit of giving with our Small Change: Big Impact fundraiser and give a little helping hand to turn someone’s life around.

Big Salute: Dashboard Course

Felix Fund, another one of the charities supported by the Big Salute this year, supports bomb disposal experts and their families with therapeutic breaks and rehabilitation facilities.

The Big Salute awarded a grant to the charity to fund ‘Dashboard’ courses – as pictured above - a series of mindfulness sessions for soldiers who are involved with Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) duties.

Staff Sgt Anthony Burnie Burness, of 621 EOD unit, describing the Dashboard course, said:

“The beginning of the week you could see people were a bit reserved, keeping things in themselves, not knowing what to expect … but as the week’s gone on we’ve got more and more relaxed and enjoyed it, so it’s been a bit of a surprise.”

It really does not take much to make such a big impact.

Last year, the BFBS Big Salute funded grants for 12 different charities – helping many people like those mentioned here.

BFBS Big Salute grants have paid for vital activities and services for serving personnel, their families and veterans including: mindfulness courses for serving soldiers involved with Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) duties; independent living for veterans while they are in supported accommodation; horticultural therapy; employability skills; education and support around drugs and alcohol misuse; therapy courses for veterans referred for mental health treatment, and booklets for Royal Navy widows with no access to the internet.

Spare your Small Change this season and make a BIG Impact – THANK YOU!

The charities most recently supported by the BFBS Big Salute are: Alabare, Association of Royal Naval Officers (ARNO), Blesma, The Limbless Veterans, The Bridge For Heroes, Combat Stress, Felix Fund, Glen Art, Help 4 Homeless Veterans, The Matthew Project, Turn To Starboard, Unload and Veterans Aid.

Each year the BFBS Big Salute invites armed forces charities to apply for project-based grants.

Applications for the next round of grants will open in April 2019. For more information see www.bigsalute.com.