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Help for Heroes has signed up to the Pride in Veterans Standard (PiVS).  

This is a programme run by Fighting with Pride, which provides a framework for veterans’ organisations to ensure that their services are inclusive and welcoming to LGBT+ veterans. 

To join this standard we demonstrated, that Help for Heroes is committed to promoting inclusion, dignity, and respect for all LGBT+ people who have served our country. 

Other signatories to the standard include the Confederation of Service Charities, the Defence Medical Welfare Service, Op Courage, The Poppy Factory, The RAF Association, Tri Services and Veterans Support Centre, and The War Widows Association. 

How will this affect the organisation? 

Being part of PiVS will allow us to visually demonstrate our commitment to delivering the highest standards for LGBT+ veterans, with the standard’s kitemark being present on our website and literature. It will also provide us with an assessment framework and access to specialist resources to allow us to meet our aim of being a fully inclusive organisation.  

Pride in Veterans logo featuring rising sun shape in rainbow
Pride in Veterans Kitemark - Fighting with Pride

Why have we signed up to the PiVS? 

Although it has been 23 years since the ban on homosexuality in the Armed Forces was lifted, work still needs to be done to understand, acknowledge and, where appropriate, address the harm the ban had on LGBT+ veterans.  

Due to this history of discrimination, many LGBT+ people who have served in our Armed Forces do not feel comfortable identifying as veterans, have not felt welcome within the wider Armed Forces community, nor supported by veterans’ charities.  

With the upcoming Independent Review of the impact of the ban upon LGBT+ veterans due to be published, we felt that the time is right for us as a charity to review our practices, be more vocal in our support for the LGBT+ community, and play our part in righting some of the wrongs that our LGBT+ veterans and service people have experienced.  

Help for Heroes CEO James Needham commented, 

     ‘Help for Heroes is here for all veterans who have experienced some form of disadvantage because of their service. LGBT+ veterans, both before and immediately after the lifting of the ban in 2000, experienced an almost unique set of injuries due to this discriminatory policy. This included wrongful imprisonment and dismissal, loss of career prospects and pension rights, as well as being cast out from the wider veteran community.

    If we are to be a charity for all veterans, we need to understand the specific needs of this group and all LGBT+ people within the Armed Forces and implement policies and services that are tailored to those needs and tackle discrimination that still exists. The PiVS will be a useful tool for us on this journey.’ 

If you've been affected by any of these issues please contact us for help and/or support.

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