Veterans and their families are struggling with painful injuries, mental trauma, isolation, and more. 

This is the Veterans War. A war forgotten by many. But not by us.  

Our army of healthcare workers and support staff are being deployed across the UK on a mission to defeat loneliness and isolation in the veteran community. 

Within our ranks we have nurses and occupational therapists who visit veterans and family members in their homes. Primarily providing life-changing healthcare support, they’re also on the frontline in the fight against isolation that affects tens of thousands of people following a military career. 

Karen wears her army uniform with medals
Karen in uniform at the Remembrance parade - Help for Heroes

The need for support is increasing

Karen is one of our nurses. Having served for 40 years in the Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps, she understands the veteran and military mindset.

“I’ve got around 80 veterans on my caseload, and I took six new cases on this week. The oldest is 95, the youngest is 21. I’m finding that more and more veterans of all ages are extremely isolated. When they were serving, they had friends and support constantly around them. The minute they leave, they lose all that. A lot of veterans don't want to reach out because they see it as a sign of weakness.

“Some live on their own and don’t leave their house other than to go shopping. They don’t make meaningful connections.

"Often, they’ve moved back to an area they haven’t been to for years, and don’t have much money or access to transport. Through medical conditions and age, they’re not as mobile. I have a veteran who is visually impaired and some who’ve had strokes. They can’t get out to see us. It’s important I go to see them.

“I've got veterans who have nobody in their lives. One is an older gentleman who lives in Birmingham. Inner-city living is not the friendliest if you don’t know anyone. He’s been estranged from his family for many years. 

“His only companion was his cat. But his cat recently died, and he said, ‘Well, there’s no point in living now, Karen. I don’t see anybody. I don’t get out.’ So, I see him once a month.” 

31% of veterans said they felt lonely*

source: Veterans Survey 2022

A lifeline for veterans

“I visit new veterans in their homes, so I can see what’s going on, and how debilitating their illness or condition is. 

“I spend a lot of time writing to GPs and hospitals, getting veterans the services they need, such as physiotherapy. We’ve got our own occupational therapists. So, if I do a home assessment and somebody needs help with their daily routine, like seat raisers or grip bars, I refer them to our occupational therapists. Often, we do home visits together.  

Karen is brilliant; she's given me a lot of support. I struggled going out and talking to people - but I'm a lot better now. Everything she's done for me has been a positive; it's changed me.


Army Veteran

“If I’ve got somebody who’s struggling with their benefits, I’ll do a home visit with a case manager who can help with welfare issues. I'll do the clinical bit, and they'll help people with their finances and teach them how to claim benefits they’re entitled to. 

“There are several ways I can support from a clinical point of view. I carry out medication reviews and discuss whether people need to be on all their high-powered medication. Often people are thrown on medication and then not reviewed. I'm also trying to help people stop smoking.” 

Join our mission to make sure no-one is left to fight the Veterans War alone. 


Award-winning team 

The team Karen is in recently won the Royal College of Nursing’s Community and General Practice Nursing Award. We’re the only military charity to have a dedicated clinical team providing physical healthcare support with wrap around holistic support. The team supported 1,492 people in the last financial year. 

And it’s just one element of the services we offer to veterans struggling to adjust to civilian life. We also provide financial and welfare support.  

Our online courses give people the skills and confidence to live independently. If someone’s injury or illness is making life tough, we can provide a grant to pay for mobility aids or home modifications; so people can lead an active life, at home and in their local community.

a veteran plays sitting volley ball at our sports series
We hold a range of sports and social activities around the UK - Help for Heroes

community-based support

In 2022/23 we ran 1,770 sporting and social activities across the UK so veterans and families could spend time with others who have been through similar experiences. Finding a community of like-minded people can be hugely beneficial to someone’s well-being.

We have a mental health service designed for veterans and their families. It’s called Hidden Wounds and last year it supported 1,373 people with a range of conditions, such as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and grief.

Our ‘Help for Heroes cafes’ are held across the UK for veterans to meet up for a brew and a chat with the Charity’s staff, and to learn about the support on offer. 

Karen sits with a veteran at one of our coffee mornings
Karen and her team regularly attend out 'Help for Heroes Café' events - Help for Heroes

We're also trialling a system for isolated veterans, struggling with their self-confidence to be teamed up with a veteran who’s volunteered as a ‘buddy’. The buddy will be trained and supported by us. They’ll have regular phone calls or online chats with the isolated veteran, and possibly meet up in the presence of one of our staff members.

Greater reach than ever 

By supporting people where they live and online, our support is available to more people than ever before. 

“Veterans often tell me that if it wasn't for our coffee mornings, our events and activities, and our clinical support, they wouldn’t be here,” Karen said. “They tell me that Help for Heroes makes life worth living. Without us they admit they wouldn’t get out of bed and wouldn’t have a purpose in life. 

Veterans often tell me that if it wasn't for our coffee mornings, our events and activities, and our clinical support, they wouldn’t be here.”

Karen Jamieson

Veterans Community Nurse, Help for Heroes

“I’ve worked with veterans who were at their absolute lowest ebb. Seeing them take part in our events like archery, mountain biking or a group walk. And seeing them get active in their wider society. That’s amazing. That’s why we do what we do.” 

Join our mission to make sure no-one is left to fight the Veterans War alone. 


*Office for National Statistics (ONS), released 15 December 2023, ONS website, article,Veterans’ Survey 2022, demographic overview and coverage analysis, UK