Forces Charities

Military charity sees soar in requests from veterans for help

Veterans charity Help For Heroes says they are experiencing a dramatic increase in requests for help with food and energy bills as the cost-of-living crisis worsens.

Forces News spoke to the charity and told us that some veterans are not eating for days at a time as they cannot afford to feed themselves.

Head of Grants at the charity, Claire Barnes said the number of requests for financial help has increased significantly during the last six months.

The additional financial pressures are affecting the mental health of many veterans, Claire says:

"The number of people whose mental health has been exacerbated by the current crisis has grown.

"Each time a veteran or their family members, and it is family members as well, have another challenge it can just be the one thing that’s too much and nobody should feel like they need to live like that."

Claire said the charity is managing the increase in requests well and have taken on additional staff to ensure they can help all of the veterans that contact them.

Some veterans have additional needs for energy due to injuries they have, and there is a breadth of requests across different types of injury or illness, says Claire.

Watch: Help for Heroes recently launched suicide awareness training to help save lives.

"There are people who are living with mental health difficulties and find it very hard to work or to order things in their lives and therefore find it hard to manage financially.

"There are people living with an injury or illness, such as a spinal injury, brain trauma, amputation, so something physical that makes it very difficult for them to regulate their temperature.

"It could be that there are wheelchair users who have to power the batteries for their wheelchair or the equipment  that helps them breathe more easily if they have sleep apnoea or need a ventilator."

With financial pressures growing Help For Heroes has increased the funds available to support the immediate needs of veterans.

Claire told Forces News that some veterans are struggling to find the money for food and in one case a veteran was not eating for days to ensure his children could eat.

The charity has grants available to veterans who need them, Claire urges anyone who is struggling to contact them for immediate help.

These can be accessed by going to the Help For Heroes website and clicking on the Get Help button at the top of the page which goes through to an Ask For Help page. Users can either fill in a form or request a call back from a member of the team.