About Us / Our FAQs

Our FAQs

Why DID HELP FOR HEROES START?

In 2007, Bryn Parry OBE and Emma Parry, OBE, co-founded Help for Heroes to support individuals who were physically or psychologically wounded while serving in the British Armed Forces.

Today, thanks to you, we’ve supported over 26,500 people*, but many more still need us. Together with our fundraisers, donors, volunteers, and partners we’ll make sure every wounded veteran gets the support they deserve.

*Source: Help for Heroes Annual Report 2019/2020

Who do you support?

We support people who have suffered injury or illness as a result of their military service. We also support their loved ones, because they too can be affected.

Visit our Get Support pages for more information.

How many people have you supported?

Since 2007, we’ve transformed the lives of more than 26,500 individuals* and we know that many more will need our support in the future.

Between 1 October 2019 and 30 September 2020 we supported 4,401 veterans and their family members.**

*Source: Help for Heroes Annual Report 2019/2020.

**Recovery KPIs for the period 1 October 2019 - 30 September 2020.

 

Why is the charity still needed?

Between 1999 and 2019, almost 40,000 service personnel were medically discharged from the British Armed Forces.* Every day, four more military careers come to an end as a result of injury or illness. For some veterans, the effects of their service only surface in the months and years after it has ended. Recent research suggests that between now and 2025, up to 14,000 individuals may seek our support for the first time.

We anticipate most of these individuals will need help to address mental health issues or issues related to the management of their physical health, such as pain management. Many will also be seeking the sense of camaraderie and community they often miss when they leave the Armed Forces.

We won’t stop until every wounded veteran gets the support they deserve, and since 2007 we’ve transformed the lives of more than 26,500**. But we know many more will still need our help in the future.

*Source: Help for Heroes Improving the Medical Discharge Process Policy paper (PDF)

**Source: Help for Heroes Annual Report 2019/2020.

How do you help?

We provide a range of services, resources and activities to enable those we support to live healthy, secure, and purposeful lives. All our life-changing services are available in the community (face-to-face), digitally and by telephone.

We put the needs and priorities of our wounded and their families at the heart of everything we do, and we take a ‘whole person’ approach to recovery. By providing joined-up and high-quality recovery services that are scalable, we can respond to changes in demand and remain relevant and responsive to emerging needs. The combination of services and support we offer are all delivered by our health professional teams, and our approach to recovery is unique.

Everything we do is to enable those we support to recover and get on with their lives. We partner with every individual we help to agree a combination of support that is tailored to their own recovery needs.

Please visit our Get Support pages for more information.

Do you support those with psychological injuries?

Yes, and the demand for our support continues to grow.

In 2019/20, 2,023* veterans and family members were supported by our Hidden Wounds team alone. The service offers guided support including cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and counselling to support common mental health problems that affect quality of life.

Together our Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners, Counsellors and Psychologists support veterans and their families living with a range of mental health challenges including anxiety, depression, trauma, grief and loss, anger, and those who wish to change their drinking habits.

We also work closely with other military and mental health organisations to ensure everyone seeking specialist treatment gets the help they need. Psychological support for those serving is provided by the Ministry of Defence (MOD). 

*Source: Help for Heroes Annual Report 2019/2020.

Do you still grant fund individuals?

Yes. Our Grants Team work closely with our Case Managers and Clinical and Medical Services Team when a solution has been identified to relieve, resolve or prevent a welfare or medical wellbeing issue. They may provide financial relief of hardship or provide specialist equipment; for example in 2019/20 we awarded £496,000 in grants supporting 416 individuals*.

*Source: Help for Heroes Annual Report 2019/2020.

Do you support the rehabilitation of wounded serving military personnel?

Those wounded while serving are usually transferred to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham for medical treatment.

Their clinical rehabilitation (supporting physical, neurological or mental health issues) takes place at Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre (DMRC) Stanford Hall near Loughborough in the East Midlands.

All Headley Court facilities have been recreated at Stanford Hall, including the swimming pool and rehabilitation complex our amazing supporters helped us to fund. We work closely with DMRC to make sure everyone affected by their service in the Armed Forces can either return to their military unit or take the next step into their new life as a veteran.

For injured veterans with ongoing complex rehabilitation needs, as a result of operational service, we continue to campaign for increased access to these world-class facilities and their expertise.

Do you lobby the Government?

We use our voice to champion the needs of our wounded and their families, to accelerate change and give them the futures they deserve.

By working closely with the Ministry of Defence (MOD), the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), the NHS, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and local authorities, we ensure the needs of our wounded are met; and where we identify a shortcoming or an area for improvement, we speak up and advocate on behalf of those we support.

In July 2019, the continued pressure to make the Government accept its responsibilities took a step forward when the Office of Veterans’ Affairs (OVA) was established – something we’d campaigned strongly for.

We are currently actively campaigning for:

  • The Armed Forces Covenant to be fully enshrined in law.
  • Increased access to world-class facilities and expertise for injured veterans who have ongoing complex rehabilitation needs, as a result of operational service.
  • The continuation of the Veterans Mobility Fund.
  • A review of the Medical Discharge process.

How do you help veterans tackle social isolation?

We support anyone who has suffered injury or illness as a result of their military service, and their loved ones.

Many veterans and their families suffer from social isolation because of their circumstances. Many also miss the camaraderie and stability of the Armed Forces network they’ve left behind.

To tackle this and promote mutual support, our Band of Brothers Fellowship provides an opportunity for veterans to meet and share experiences through structured activities and events. Our Band of Sisters Fellowship provides support and events for close family members. Both groups are open to all genders.

Today, we have more than 12,776* members in our Fellowship networks.

*Based on data collected for the period 1 October 2019 - 30 September 2020.

What is the charity's annual income?

In 2019/20, thanks to our amazing supporters, fundraisers and partners, we raised a total of £24.4 million* in support of our wounded. Whilst our deficit reduced compared to the previous year, our recurring income has fallen considerably due to the impact of Covid-19.

Our events income was down by 85 percent, income from our national collections reduced by 88 per cent, community fundraising income was down by 37 per cent and in-memory income fell by 25 per cent.

However, with lockdown restrictions easing and with your ongoing support, we are already making plans to return stronger than ever, with some incredible fundraising events planned for the rest of 2021 and beyond.

*Source: Help for Heroes Annual Report 2019/2020.

HOW DO YOU INTEND TO BRIDGE THE GAP FURTHER BETWEEN INCOME AND EXPENDITURE?

More than 90% of our income is thanks to you, our generous supporters, fundraisers, donors and partners.

Between 1 October 2019 and 30 September 2020, our outgoings (£30.8 million) exceeded our income (£24.4 million), but we successfully reduced our deficit from £5.1 million in 2019 to £4.3 million in 2020 (including investment gains of £2.1m).*

The financial impact of Covid-19 forced us to develop cost reduction measures, including reducing the number of staff that work for the Charity. To protect our life-changing services, we furloughed almost 40 per cent of staff for seven months in 2020 and put in place a recruitment freeze. We made the difficult decision to put 143 roles at risk, of which 89 were made redundant.

Across the Charity we are continuing to control our expenditure through efficient and effective spend whilst prioritising service delivery. We are also supporting fundraising activities and our volunteers to grow our income to pre-pandemic levels.

*Source: Help for Heroes Annual Report 2019/2020.

How will you spend my donation?

To ensure we can be here for wounded veterans and families for as long as they need us, we must:

  • Spend money on the delivery of our recovery services and on championing the needs of our wounded, so that veterans can live secure and healthy lives with purpose (known as our Services and Campaigning).
  • Spend money on our marketing and fundraising efforts so that we can continue to raise donations from the generous great British public and businesses, who we rely on for more than 90 per cent of our income* (known as Fundraising).
  • Spend money on governance, IT systems and processes to ensure we are properly looking after the interests and data of our veterans, volunteers and supporters (known as Essential Support Costs).
  • Put money aside to protect the future of our services, so that we can meet unprecedented increases in demand for support and survive if our income drops (known as Keeping Reserves).

We believe you have a right to know how we spend our funds, and we promise that we are committed to delivering the maximum impact in return for your donations. Please bear in mind that it is almost impossible to accurately compare how £1 is spent by different charities. No two charities are the same, and the way each one raises, spends and reports their funds is different.

We aim to spend:

  • 58 per cent of our funds on our Services and Campaigning
  • 22 per cent on Fundraising
  • 20 per cent on Essential Support Costs.

We put our veterans at the heart of every decision we make. When we spend money to raise money, we promise that it is always to make every pound go further for our cause. Every £1 we spend on fundraising raises £4 to help us support our wounded.

*Source: Help for Heroes Annual Report 2019/2020.

Why do you have reserves?

Reserves ensure that we can safely continue to run our services and support our wounded for a number of years, even if our donation levels fall.

Events that are outside of our control, such as economic uncertainty and more recently, the outbreak of COVID-19, can quickly have a big impact on our funds and the demand for our services.

Over the years we have built up reserves to ensure we weather storms such as these, so that we can continue to fulfil our promise to be here for veterans and their families for as long as they need us.

We currently aim to have between one and two years’ non-recovery running costs in our general fund. At 30 September 2020 our General Fund was £17.5 million* which is within that range.

*Source: Help for Heroes Annual Report 2019/2020.

Do you employ paid staff?

Yes, we simply couldn’t exist without our team of dedicated staff. Our wounded and their loved ones have given up so much and they deserve the best support and the very best people to provide it.

Many employees are specialists, with a range of professional qualifications in areas as diverse as psychological support, adaptive sports coaching and occupational therapy. We also employ veterans or people with close links to the military; at least one-third of our 244 staff* have links to the military or are from military families.

Alongside this, we depend on an amazing army of dedicated volunteers, who give up their time freely, to support us and help keep costs to an absolute minimum.

*Information correct at 30 June 2021.

How much do you spend on staff salaries?

In 2019/20 we spent £11.6 million on staff wages to an average number of 331 staff employed during the financial year.*

However, in 2020 the financial impact of Covid-19 forced us to develop cost reduction measures to protect our life-changing services. This included reducing the number of staff who work for the Charity. We furloughed almost 40 per cent of staff for seven months in 2020 and put in place a recruitment freeze.

We also made the difficult decision to put 143 roles at risk, of which 89 were made redundant. From 2018/19 to 2019/20, we also reduced the number of senior staff from 20 to 16.

Staff pay levels, including that of our CEO, are reached by an external audit using data from organisations of a similar status to us. In 2019/20 all staff accepted a reduction in pay as a result of efficiency measures due to the pandemic.

We also depend on the time and generosity of more than 1,800 volunteers around the country and have a board of Trustees; none of whom receive payment.

*Source: Help for Heroes Annual Report 2019/2020.

Are trustees paid?

No, our Trustees govern the Charity on a voluntary basis. They meet regularly during the year to consider, determine, and review Help for Heroes' strategies and policies, and to receive reports from senior management.

Are you a registered charity?

Help for Heroes is a registered Charity in England and Wales (number 1120920) and Scotland (SCO44984).

Help for Heroes is also a company limited by Guarantee Registered in England and Wales under number 6363256.

WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR RECOVERY CENTRES? ARE YOU STILL PROVIDING SUPPORT?

We exist to help our wounded and their families recover and get on with their lives, and we won’t stop until every veteran gets the support they deserve. Since moving our services to community, face-to-face and digital offerings, the reach we have seen, and subsequent impact on our veterans’ lives, has driven our decision to no longer deliver services for veterans out of recovery centres. Instead, we are taking our services to them, which is enabling even more wounded, and their families, access vital support across the UK.

In 2021 we reached an agreement with the MOD where all four Help for Heroes recovery centres, including Tedworth House, will be operated and funded by the MOD for 12 months. They will be used to deliver core recovery activities to wounded service personnel.

We recognise that the centres are special places and have been an important part of the recovery journey for a lot of people. As the MOD takes on responsibility for the centres, we are pleased they will continue to be an important part of the journey for serving personnel and help improve their recovery pathways.

We have been delivering services in the community for some time, and since stepping away from our recovery centre model we are now increasing our capacity to do so. By recruiting specialist staff, developing our systems, and building local partnerships, we can deliver the best possible outcomes for our veterans and make best use of every generous donation we receive from the public.

HOW DO I FUNDRAISE FOR OR DONATE TO THE CHARITY?

We are grateful to everyone who chooses to support us, as an individual, organisation, or business. There are many ways you can do your bit to help us raise money to support our wounded.

Please visit our Give Support pages to find out how you can get involved.

Can I leave you money in my Will?

Yes. Every legacy left to Help for Heroes will make a vital difference to current and future generations of wounded Servicemen and women. Remembering Help for Heroes in your Will means the Charity can confidently plan and fund further initiatives to guarantee the wounded and their families will be looked after for the rest of their lives.

Have more Gifts in Wills questions? Check out our Gifts in Wills FAQs.

What are your ambitions for the future?

We believe anyone affected by their military service deserves a fair deal afterwards, no matter when or where they served. Those we support deserve to feel safe, healthy, and purposeful.

So that we can continue to deliver on our promise to be here for those who need us, we have a three-year strategy. Our plan for 2019/20 consists of:

  • Delivering Service Excellence: we will deliver a simplified, joined-up and high-quality recovery service that’s sustainable, scalable and remains relevant and responsive to those we serve.
  • Championing the Wounded: we will keep beneficiaries at the heart of all we do and be stronger and bolder in championing the needs of our wounded, to accelerate change and give them the futures they deserve.
  • Funding the Cause: we will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our fundraising and develop more sustainable sources of income.

By 2022 we hope to be in a financial position which means we no longer draw upon our reserves.

Please accept our apologies if we have not been able to answer your question. If you would like to speak to us, please do not hesitate to give us a call on 0300 303 9888. We would love to hear from you and are always happy to answer any questions you have.