In tomorrow’s Spring Budget, the Chancellor will announce £3 million in funding to reopen the Veterans Mobility Fund, following a two-year campaign led by Help for Heroes and Blesma, The Limbless Veterans Charity. Since the Fund’s closure in 2021, we have jointly supported almost 200 eligible individuals with mobility grants, but the new funding will mean many more of our most seriously wounded veterans can access life-changing specialist wheelchairs and other mobility aids.
Sky News announced the news that veterans are to receive a £33m funding package in Wednesday's Spring Budget.
Musculoskeletal disorder or injury is the most common cause of medical discharge from the Armed Forces. Subsequently, mobility issues are among the biggest challenges faced by our injured veterans. However, there is currently a gap in provision for veterans who are no longer able to access high-quality specialist wheelchairs, mobility aids, or orthotic equipment through the Ministry of Defence and we find that the NHS cannot provide this same level of care.
The Veterans Mobility Fund (2015-2021) was originally launched in recognition of this gap in provision. During this time, over 200 veterans were provided with life changing specialist equipment, such as standing wheelchairs and high-grade prosthetics, which they otherwise would not have been able to access. However, since the fund closed, fulfilling this commitment to our most severely wounded, injured, and sick veterans has fallen upon the shoulders of charities.
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source: Help for Heroes
The difference that appropriate and timely provision can make to injured veterans’ quality of life is hugely significant. Over the last two years – and alongside Blesma – we have worked tirelessly with MPs, the Office for Veterans’ Affairs, the Ministry of Defence and the Department for Health and Social Care to build the case for the continuation of the Mobility Fund stating that UK Government has a duty to meet its Armed Forces Covenant commitment of ‘special consideration’ for veterans with serious physical injury resulting from their Service.
We now await more information about how the Fund will be administered but we hope to be closely involved in the process to make the funding as accessible as possible for veterans in need.
James Needham, Help for Heroes CEO said:
“We are delighted that our campaign has been successful and this vital support for our wounded veterans has been recognised at the top of Government. We have worked tirelessly to reach this point. Although there are details yet to be announced about how the reinstated fund will be administered, today we are celebrating a victory for veterans.”