Budget 2021: Extra £10m Announced For Veterans' Mental Health Support

Chancellor Rishi Sunak set out the additional funding as he delivered his Budget statement to the House of Commons.

The Chancellor has announced an additional £10m of funding to help veterans with mental health needs.

Rishi Sunak set out his financial plans in the Budget statement on Wednesday.

The funding will be provided to the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust and will help deliver charitable projects and initiatives in the UK, to ensure veterans with mental health needs can access services and support.

General Sir John McColl, chairman of Cobseo, The Confederation of Service Charities, said: "Today's announcements in the Budget committing to further support for the mental health and wellbeing of ex-serving personnel is a welcomed demonstration of the Government's ongoing aim to do better for veterans.

"The service charity sector has long provided support and services for serving and ex-serving personnel and their families alongside and, in some cases, in lieu of Government, and this additional £10m will help to provide the vital support that some veterans require after their service."

Speaking to Forces News, the charity boss said the armed services charity sector has "probably lost, in terms of average income in previous years, around 250 million pounds".

"We think that's going to be replicated in 2021 as well," he said - adding that organisations would "of course" like to receive more than the announced figure.

The Government also confirmed it will provide up to £475,000 to Armed Forces charities in 2021-22, as it aims to support the development of a digital and data strategy for the sector.

Anonymous anon Army boots and legs 270720 CREDIT BFBS
The Government also confirmed it will provide up to £475,000 to Armed Forces charities in 2021-22.

In May 2020, Cobseo warned of a possible £390m shortfall in Armed Forces charities in the space of just six months.

It came as Veterans Minister Johnny Mercer announced a £6m boost for forces charities from the COVID Impact Fund.

The same month, Cobseo published survey results which said 10% of service charities thought they might not survive the year.

In September, Help for Heroes announced a restructuring, saying it anticipated a 30% drop in income while demand for services had risen 33%. Three of its four recovery centres have closed.

Cover image: PA.