We are delighted to award a £200,000 grant to the Defence Medical Welfare Service (DMWS), which provides critical professional welfare support to armed forces families.

Our charity has been a longstanding supporter of the DMWS, having previously funded a network of welfare officers who work within 11 NHS Trusts providing practical and emotional support to patients in the Armed Forces community and their families. So far, more than 5,500 members of the Armed Forces community have benefited from the service, with 75 per cent of them reporting an increase in wellbeing.

The DMWS will use this latest grant award to meet a share of the costs of its ongoing South of England Welfare Project from April 2022. The project is delivering critical professional support to veterans experiencing a wide range of mental and physical health problems through specialists embedded in several hospitals across Southern England.

Beneficiaries of this funding will include veterans such as James, who feared the loss of his independence when he was admitted to hospital after breaking his arm. He faced a six-month recovery period in a care facility, but, thanks to a discharge plan that the DMWS established for him, he was not only able to return home but also keep his beloved dog.

Paul Gaffney, CEO of the Defence Medical Welfare Service, said: “Funding from ABF The Soldiers’ Charity helps make stories like James’s a success and so we are delighted to have been awarded this substantial grant from the charity because it will allow us to improve the delivery of our service and reach more veterans in need of our help throughout Southern England.

Brigadier (Ret’d) Peter Monteith, Chief of Staff at ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, added:

We are honoured to be long-term partners of the Defence Medical Welfare Service. Its work has improved the lives of so many veterans and their families, especially during the pandemic, which created extra health, social and other challenges requiring welfare expertise and support from the DMWS’s embedded welfare teams. We are proud to provide additional funding for this year.

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