Help for Heroes announces devastating emergency measures as COVID-19 puts charity on brink

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The charity, which supports the Armed Forces community, announced the restructuring after being badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic. Help for Heroes has faced falling income, while demand also surged during the lockdown.

The charity relies on donations by the public which have plunged in recent months.

It has also been forced to postpone or cancel its fundraising events.

The charity is expecting reduced income over the coming years due to the long-term impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

Help for Heroes CEO, Melanie Waters, said: “In 2007, we made a promise on behalf of the nation to provide lifetime support to wounded veterans, and their families, and we are striving to keep that promise.

“The crisis has had a devastating impact on the whole UK charity sector, with lasting consequences, and it has hit us hard.

“These tough decisions have been made to protect the future of the charity and have been taken with our beneficiaries in mind.

“We remain absolutely committed to our wounded and their families and will continue fighting for, and changing the lives of, those we support for as long as they need it.”

The restructuring has put 143 roles at risk.

The charity will also stop using its recovery centres in Catterick, Colchester and Plymouth for the foreseeable future.

It plans to reopen its fourth recovery centre – Tedworth House in Wiltshire – in the next few months.

During the lockdown, Help for Heroes continued to deliver its services remotely despite 40 percent of staff being put on furlough.

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Following the announcement by the charity, veterans minister Johnny Mercer paid tribute to its work.

He said: “I pay tribute to Help for Heroes and the extraordinary service they have provided to this nation’s most special people over the last 15 years.

“The establishment of the Office for Veterans’ Affairs signalled this Government’s determination to blend third sector work – upon which we have historically relied too heavily to shoulder the burden of our responsibilities to veterans – and statutory provision from the state.

“I will not stop until we have fulfilled the Prime Minister’s intent to make this the best country in the world to be an Armed Forces veteran.”

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