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Are you in crisis?

If you or someone you know requires urgent support, please call 999 or the Samaritans on 116 123. We also have a list of organisations you can contact by clicking here.

On this page, you will find information about our individual grants programme and how to apply for financial support

Are you or someone you know at risk of homelessness?

Op FORTITUDE is funded by The Armed Forces Covenant Fund to deliver a centralised referral pathway to end veteran homelessness. The remit of the team will be to work with individual veterans at risk of or experiencing homelessness, supporting them either into suitable accommodation, or supporting them to maintain their current home.

Who is it for?

  • Veterans of the U.K. Armed Forces
  • Veterans applying for assistance as an individual, not as a family unit
  • Veterans at risk of or experiencing homelessness

Who can refer?

  • Anyone in contact with an eligible veteran, with the veteran’s permission, can refer into Op FORTITUDE
  • Eligible veterans can also self-refer using the 0800 number below
  • Referrals can be made by calling 0800 952 0774 from 3 July, 24/7 and emergency accommodation will be sourced for veterans actively sleeping rough at the point of referral

WHO WE HELP – OUR GRANTS FOR INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES

We award Grants to people in financial need who are:

  • Members and former members of the British Regular Army who have completed adult basic training
  • Exceptionally, individuals who are medically discharged as a direct result of an injury sustained during basic training may also be supported
  • Members and former members of the British Army Reserve or The Territorial Army (TA) who have completed one year’s satisfactory service
  • Exceptionally, for a lesser period than one year’s satisfactory service if death, injury or distress arises from any action or incident whilst on military duty or the soldier had deployed on a designated operation
  • Spouses / civil partners, widows, widowers, dependant child/children of those detailed above

WAYS WE CAN HELP

We offer assistance in a number of ways where there is a need and where all statutory funding has been exhausted.  Below are examples of what we can help towards:

  • Priority debt with written recommendation by a qualified debt advisor eg CAB, StepChange
  • Essential household goods and repairs
  • Funeral costs
  • Essential family needs
  • Elderly care
  • Mobility – we may be able to help with mobility equipment and aids where the need is supported by a professional Occupational Therapist report and quote

Applications for tuition fees for first degrees and vocational courses will be considered when the applicant has been disadvantaged by Service and/or the course can lead to gaining or retaining employment.

Requests for assistance towards a restricted number of counselling sessions may be considered after statutory sessions have been completed

All applications are means tested

Each application is considered on its own merits

WHAT WE CAN’T GIVE GRANTS FOR:

We cannot provide grants for medical, legal, immigration, visa or repatriation fees, non-priority debts, memorials or headstones

Former soldier Kuziva was retraining as a nurse when his boiler broke. We supported him with a grant for a replacement, helping to keep his family safe and warm

 

We awarded Rick a grant for a specialist wheelchair and bathroom adaptations after he was operationally injured in Afghanistan

HOW TO APPLY

  • If you are a serving soldier or spouse/civil partner, widow, widower, parent/carer of a dependant child/children of a serving soldier contact your Unit Welfare Officer, Personnel Recovery Officer, Resettlement Officer, or the Army Welfare Service
  • If you are a veteran, spouse/civil partner, widow, widower, parent/carer of a dependant child/children of a veteran contact your local SSAFA office Find local branch | SSAFA or The Royal British Legion, call their helpline on 0808 802 8080. They’re open seven days a week, from 8am to 8pm
  • If you are in Scotland contact PoppyScotland Get help now | Contact us | Poppyscotland

the Army Benevolent Fund does not accept direct applications.  Applications must be submitted through the Soldier’s Unit Welfare Officer or the Veteran’s Regimental or Corp Association via the relevant caseworking office detailed above.

See above for how to apply and below to see what happens next.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

  • SSAFA, TRBL or PoppyScotland will assign you a caseworker who will arrange to meet with you, either virtually or face-to-face. They will assess your situation and, with your permission, prepare a written report
  • This report is sent to your Regimental / Corps Charity.  If they are unable to fund the request in full, they will forward your case to us for consideration
  • If we are forwarded your case we will review it and collaborate with other military charities to ensure you receive appropriate support. We aim to make grant payments to the relevant caseworking organisation eg SSAFA, within 48 hours of receiving the case
  • We are unable to discuss the status of applications with individuals. Individuals should contact the relevant caseworker to discuss their application.
  • Both SSAFA and the Royal British Legion will need key information such as Service Number, Regiment, Service Dates, Income, Expenditure and details of any savings. It would be helpful, but not essential, to have all or some of this information to hand when you contact them

KEY CONTACTS

CHILDLINE

Childline offer support on the phone or online anytime.  Call free on 0800 1111 orSupport from external agencies and links to resources | Nescot

click here to find out how to contact them online

SSAFA Forcesline

SSAFA Forcesline offers a free and 100% confidential helpline that provides a supportive listening and signposting service for serving personnel, former members of the Armed Forces and their families.

Tel: 0800 260 6767 They’re open Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm
Web: SSAFA.org.uk / Find local branch | SSAFA

 

Royal British Legion 

If you can’t find a service near you, please call their helpline on 0808 802 8080. They’re open seven days a week, from 8am to 8pm

Web: Britishlegion.org.uk
Tel: 0808 802 8080

 

PoppyScotland 

For caseworkers, use the guidance and contact numbers on the Casework Management System

Tel: 0131 550 1557
Email:[email protected]
Web: www.poppyscotland.org.uk

 

Veterans’ Gateway

Veterans’ Gateway put veterans and their families in touch with the organisations best placed to help with the information, advice and support they need – from healthcare and housing to employability, finances, personal relationships and more.

Tel: 0808 802 1212
Web: www.veteransgateway.org.uk

 

NHS 111 (England, Wales and Northern Ireland)

NHS 111 logoNHS 111 is the non-emergency number offering 24 hour medical information, advice and reassurance. It replaced NHS Direct in 2014. You should use the NHS 111 service if you urgently need medical help or advice but it’s not a life-threatening situation.

Tel: 111 (24 hours)
Web: www.nhs.uk

 

NHS 24 (Scotland)

NHS 24 logoNHS 24 is the non-emergency number offering 24 hour medical information, advice and reassurance in Scotland. You should use the NHS 24 service if you urgently need medical help or advice but it’s not a life-threatening situation.

Tel: 111 (24 hours)
Web: https://www.nhs24.scot/

 

Combat Stress

Combat Stress offer confidential and safe help and advice about Service-related mental health issues for the whole military community.

Tel (veterans and their families): 0800 138 1619
Tel (serving personnel and their families): 0800 323 4444
Web: www.combatstress.org.uk/veterans/contact-us/

You can also text on 07537 173683 or email [email protected] Standard charges may apply for texts, please check with your provider.

The Samaritans

The Samaritans are available 24 hours a day to provide confidential emotional support for people who are experiencing feelings of distress, despair or suicidal thoughts.

Tel: 116 123 – UK | 116 123 – ROI (24 hours)
Web: www.samaritans.org

 

Op Courage

If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health or wellbeing, expert help is available from Op Courage: The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service run by the NHS. It doesn’t matter if you are due to leave the armed forces, have just left or if you left many years ago. Op Courage are here to help and understand the courage it takes to speak to someone.

Web: Veterans: NHS mental health services

 

Op FORTITUDE

is funded by The Armed Forces Covenant Fund to deliver a centralised referral pathway to end veteran homelessness. The remit of the team will be to work with individual veterans at risk of or experiencing homelessness, supporting them either into suitable accommodation, or supporting them to maintain their current home.

Who is it for?

  • Veterans of the U.K. Armed Forces
  • Veterans applying for assistance as an individual, not as a family unit
  • Veterans at risk of or experiencing homelessness

Who can refer?

  • Anyone in contact with an eligible veteran, with the veteran’s permission, can refer into Op FORTITUDE
  • Eligible veterans can also self-refer using the 0800 number below
  • Referrals can be made by calling 0800 952 0774 from 3 July, 24/7 and emergency accommodation will be sourced for veterans actively sleeping rough at the point of referral

Op RESTORE: The Veterans Physical Health and Wellbeing Service

Op RESTORE is a service for anyone who has served at least one day in the UK Armed Forces and, as a result of their service, acquired a significant, lasting physical illness or injury. Op RESTORE accept only GP referrals; GPs can obtain a referral form by emailing [email protected]

Op RESTORE uses a network of both civilian and military consultants, along with welfare support from military charities, to support a veteran’s health using a holistic approach.  Whilst Op RESTORE cannot shorten NHS waiting times, it seeks to ensure the veteran ‘waits well’ and is seen by the most appropriate clinician for their needs.

Veterans UK Welfare Service

Information on claiming AFCS, Armed Forces Independence Payment, Medical Discharges and Pension.

Tel: 08081 914 218
Web: www.gov.uk/government/collections/armed-forces-compensation

Contacting our Grants & Welfare Team


Please note we do not provide caseworking services, so the quickest way to access support is by contacting the relevant organisation (see how to apply section).  If, however, you would like to speak to our Grants & Welfare team about the grants process, please use the form below

Please note, completion of this form should not be seen as a guarantee of support being provided by the Army Benevolent Fund and we will still need to liaise with a caseworking organisation

  • Describe your request for assistance from the Army Benevolent Fund
  • Keeping your data safe

    Remember, you can change your mind at any time about how we contact you, or tell us to stop contacting you altogether:  Call on: 0207 901 8912; email: [email protected]; write to: Army Benevolent Fund, Mountbarrow House 6-20 Elizabeth Street, London SW1W 9RB.

    See our Privacy Notice for full details about how and why we collect, use and store your data.

     

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