How did Help for Heroes start?
Help for Heroes, Support for our Wounded, was launched on 1st October 2007. The Founders, Bryn and Emma Parry, wanted to 'just do something' to help those wounded in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Initial plans to raise £500,000 on a Big Battlefield Bike Ride led to a meeting with General Sir Richard Dannatt, the head of the Army, who suggested that they put any funds raised towards a much needed swimming pool at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre at Headley Court.
With the help of the media, celebrities and The Royal Family, the new charity caught the imagination of the British Public and by the end of the bike ride on 1st June 2008, H4H had raised £6m. By that time, the Trustees had decided that the need went beyond building a swimming pool and the charity should continue and focus on the long term support of those affected by service.
As the casualties continued to rise, the public embraced the idea of 'just do your bit' and people took up the challenge to help our wounded, injured and sick. Working closely with the Armed Forces and other military charities, H4H became a leading partner in the formation of Defence Recovery and the creation of Recovery Centres.
Bryn was Chief Executive of H4H from 2007 until he handed over his executive role to his successor Mel Waters in October 2016. Emma created the H4H Trading Company and stood down as its Executive Vice Chairman at the same time.
Bryn and Emma continue to support H4H in their capacity as Founders but are enjoying having some more family time and running their cartoon and design business, Bryn Parry Studios. Emma has opened a small bed and breakfast business from their Downton cottage and Bryn is learning to sculpt portraits.
Bryn and Emma were honoured with OBEs in 2010 for their support to the armed forces.
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Help for Heroes supports Serving and Reservist Personnel and Veterans who have suffered injuries or illness as a result of their service to the Nation. The Charity also helps their close family and dependents.
Yes. Help for Heroes supports men and women who are eligible for the Charity’s help. This support is available to all, from every branch of the military, regardless of whether or not they received their wounds on the battlefield, training or at home, or if they develop an illness while in Service, or attributable to their Service.
For example, over the last year (ending 30 September 2016), Help for Heroes supported individuals in the following ways:
In 2016, Help for Heroes commissioned a study by King's College London (King’s) looking into the scale of need and support those who served may require.
Their findings concluded that following conflicts around the world from the Gulf War in 1991 to Afghanistan in 2014, at least 66,090 Servicemen, women and Veterans need some form of support now or will do in the years to come.
Using a number of sources of research data, publicly available reports and Freedom of Information requests, the King's research team were able to confirm or estimate that between 1991 and 2014, 757,805 Regulars served in the British Armed Forces.
Of that number, 235,187 deployed on one or more major operation (including the first Gulf War, Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq). At least 66,090 (this may include a small number of Reservists) need, or will need, support. This is equivalent to 1 in 11 of all those who Served in this period.
The 66,090 need to know we are all here to help and that Help for Heroes is determined to be there for them for as long as they need.
To assist persons who are currently serving or who have served in the Armed Forces, and their dependants, by advancing any lawful charitable purpose at the discretion of the Trustees and in particular, but not exclusively:
Yes, Help for Heroes is a registered charity. Additionally, Help for Heroes is a Company limited by Guarantee Registered in England and Wales under number 6363256.
Help for Heroes is committed to providing direct, practical support to individuals as well as building long-term support for their futures.
Help for Heroes has built a nationwide recovery network from scratch. This includes not only a grant giving capability but also four Help for Heroes Recovery Centres, which have been purpose-built with charity funds and which support around 4,000 individuals every year.
Help for Heroes funded the £8.5m rehabilitation complex at Headley Court.
Help for Heroes has provided over 10,000 financial grants to individuals to the value of £12.6m.
The Charity has funded, or worked with, over 60 specialist charities and organisations to date, spending over £31m delivering support to Veterans, Serving personnel and families.
In the last financial year (1 October 2015 to 30 September 2016) we provided funding for projects for other charities including Combat Stress (£1m), Princes Trust (£0.5m) and SW Veterans Mental Health (£0.4m). Other charities Help for Heroes work with include Adventure Quest, Horseback UK and Haig Housing Trust.
Help for Heroes has also funded thousands of individuals through the dedicated Army, RAF and Naval Service charities: The Royal Airforce Benevolent Fund, ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity and the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund.
In addition, Help for Heroes has established the Band of Brothers and Band of Sisters fellowships for the wounded and their closest loved ones. This brings together (as at Sept 2016) 7,500 members who rely on the Charity and each other to champion their needs and given them a voice.
Help for Heroes is primarily based on an Industrial Estate in Downton, south of Salisbury in Wiltshire. The Charity has a similarly low-cost office in Tidworth, in Wiltshire fondly known as the ‘Tin Hut’, which is the base for the Help for Heroes volunteers and the place where Help for Heroes was launched in October 2007. The Charity also has a small office in London that ensures it has a much-needed presence in the capital.
At 30 September 2016, Help for Heroes is running at 74.7% efficiency – this means that it costs 25.3p to generate £1 of income for Help for Heroes Charity.
Legally, charities are not allowed to carry out any commercial trading activities. Therefore a wholly owned trading subsidiary, Help for Heroes Trading Ltd, was set up. It sells gift products and licenses the use of the Charity’s logo to raise funds. All of the profits from Help for Heroes Trading are gifted to the Charity as a donation, ensuring Help for Heroes can provide as much support for the wounded, injured and sick as possible.
Yes, an increasing number of people are setting up legacies. 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 injured and ill will be looked after for the rest of their lives.
Yes, the Charity simply would not exist without employing staff. Our wounded and their loved ones have given up so much – they deserve the best support, and H4H needs the very best people to provide it.
Help for Heroes relies on an army of volunteers – in the last year over 2,000 people gave one hour or more per week to Help for Heroes, to support its employed staff and keep costs to an absolute minimum.
We currently employ around 400 people around the UK. Help for Heroes’ rates of pay for senior staff are among the lowest of any major charity in the country. Help for Heroes cannot offer top-quality support to those most in need if the Charity does not employ professional people, many of whom are recognised experts in their field. We employ many Veterans or people who have close links to the military. Approximately one third of our staff have links to the military or are from military families. We believe this helps us better understand the needs of our beneficiaries.
No. The Help for Heroes Trustees govern the Charity on a voluntary basis.
The Defence Recovery Capability (DRC) encompasses all the stages of support available to the Serving wounded, injured and sick to either help them to return to duty or move on into civilian life. Put simply, it is the MoD’s part of the support network that has been built in recent years to meet the ongoing needs of those who have come to harm as a result of their Service.
The DRC is a MoD-led initiative in partnership with Help for Heroes and The Royal British Legion alongside other Service charities and agencies.
As a member of the Defence Recovery Steering Group, Help for Heroes is a champion for the wounded.
The four Help for Heroes Recovery Centres offer the next stage of care after clinical treatment. In simple terms, the MoD (for the Serving) and the NHS (for Veterans) will help people get better medically. Help for Heroes will then help the wounded or ill piece their lives back together.
The Recovery Centres aim to ‘Inspire, Enable and Support’ and provide a launch pad to life. They deliver a range of support, including life skills courses, City and Guilds-accredited education and training, world-class sports facilities, leisure activities, welfare support and advice, for life.
The Recovery Centres are in Catterick, North Yorkshire (Phoenix House), Colchester, Essex (Chavasse VC House), Tidworth, Wiltshire (Tedworth House) and Plymouth, Devon (the two facilities Endeavour Centre and Parker VC House).
The Help for Heroes Band of Brothers is a fellowship that exists to bring together wounded, injured or sick Servicemen, women and Veterans, to encourage their mutual support and friendship. It’s a place to meet people who have been through similar experiences. The Help for Heroes Band of Sisters (both male and female) supports their loved ones.
Yes, Help for Heroes Psychological Wellbeing delivers a programme called Hidden Wounds, which helps with everyday mental health problems such as anxiety, depression and stress. Additionally, the Charity works closely with other military and mental health organisations to ensure it can help all individuals seeking specialist psychological support for conditions such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (Help for Heroes does not treat PTSD, but it can refer people to charities and services that do, including Combat Stress and the NHS).
The Help for Heroes Hidden Wounds programme is available to Veterans and to all Armed Forces families. Psychological support for those serving is provided by the Ministry of Defence.
Absolutely. Getting your company involved in fundraising is a brilliant way to motivate your workforce as staff members across all levels can work towards a common positive goal. Help for Heroes runs a very successful Charity of the Year (COTY) programme, as well as a Give as You Earn scheme. Additionally, you could look at signing up to be a Commercial Partner. See www.helpforheroes.org.uk for further information.
There are so many ways you can raise money to support the wounded. Click here and look at the fundraising pages and see what you fancy doing. Help for Heroes welcomes every fundraiser, big and small, and each and every donation is valued in the same way; it all makes up the wonderful support the Charity is able to pass on to the wounded, injured and sick. Whatever activity you are planning, the Help for Heroes team can offer ideas, advice and information to guide you through your fundraising experience.
Although we have withdrawn from Afghanistan our Armed Forces are still deployed – as they have been almost constantly for the past 100 years. As long as we have Armed Forces, there will be a need for Help for Heroes to support them. For example, as at September 2015, the following deployments were underway, amongst others:
As well as this, Help for Heroes commissioned study by King's College London looking into the scale of need and support those who served may require. It included that following conflicts around the world from the Gulf War in 1991 to Afghanistan in 2014, at least 66,090 Servicemen, women and Veterans (and a small number of Reservists) will need some form of support now or in the years to come. This is equivalent to 1 in 11.
We may have withdrawn from major conflicts but for our wounded, injured and sick Servicemen, women and Veterans their battles are just beginning. We will not let them battle alone.
Help for Heroes works closely with other Service charities to ensure money goes to the right places and there is no duplication of effort. Help for Heroes is an executive member of COBSEO (Confederation of Service Charities), which ensures that the Charity is part of the powerful voice that lobbies on behalf of all Service charities.
The publicity generated by Help for Heroes has meant that all Service charities have benefited considerably from the focus on this generation’s wounded. A sector insight report, developed by the Directory of Social Change, from armedforcescharities.org.uk, shows that the total income of Armed Forces welfare charities increased by 14% in real terms between 2008 and 2012.
Harvey Grenville, lead specialist on Armed Forces at the Charities Commission, said this about Help for Heroes’ relationship with other charities: "You have certainly changed the Armed Forces charities landscape. There is no doubt in my mind that Help for Heroes has drawn in new money which would otherwise not have been available to benefit the Armed Forces Community."
Dr Catherine Walker, Directory of Social Change’s Head of Sector Trends, said: “There has also been a perception that new entrants like Help for Heroes, which was founded in 2007, have come in and taken all the money and that all the attention is focused on them. Whereas the actual fact is that Help for Heroes in particular, has become a real asset for the sector because they have managed to increase income for the entire armed forces charitable sector. And because Help for Heroes has raised the profile of the sector, again they have had a positive overall effect.”
In addition, Help for Heroes supports many Service charities with funding and grant giving and collaborates in joint fundraising partnerships.
Help for Heroes considers anyone who volunteers to join the Armed Forces, knowing that one day they may have to risk all, is a hero. It’s that simple.
When Help for Heroes uses the term ‘the blokes', it is intended to encompass both the men and women of our Armed Forces. The phrase comes from a speech made by Help for Heroes Co-Founder, Bryn Parry on 30 September 2007 at the launch of the Charity. The full quote is: “It's about ‘the blokes', the men and women of the Armed Forces” and was inspired by Bryn and Emma Parry's first visit to military wards at Selly Oak Hospital in Birmingham and referred to the individuals they met during that visit.
No. The MoD provides Servicemen and women with the necessary support but there is never enough money to do everything. Help for Heroes wants to help and its support is welcomed. It will always work hard to ensure the wounded, injured and sick get the very best for their recovery, but equally it will also work hard to ensure the Government does its bit too.
Help for Heroes is a strictly non-critical, non-political independent charity that is determined the Government pays for the necessities, such as superb prosthetics and medical care, for as long as they are needed.
For example, Help for Heroes was instrumental in the creation of the Murrison Report, which reviewed prosthetic care for both serving and Veteran members of the Armed Forces. Thanks to this report, the prosthetic provision by the NHS and Armed Forces is now world-class.
Help for Heroes is strictly non-political. Wars can happen under any government. The Charity seeks to support those people wounded in war, not to comment on the reasons behind such conflicts. Wars are brutal and Servicemen and women are injured almost daily, even in times of comparative peace. It is Help for Heroes’ aim to help those who are wounded in the service of the country to recover.
Help for Heroes has no affiliation with any political party and strongly opposes those who seek to use its name, or images for any political gain. The money raised by Help for Heroes’ supporters is used to support all wounded, injured and sick Service Personnel, Veterans and their loved ones, regardless of their gender, race or beliefs.
The decision to relocate the MoD’s Headley Court Rehabilitation facility was made by the MoD.
In 2018, all the Help for Heroes funded facilities at Headley Court will be transferred to a bigger, newer, purpose-built facility at Stanford Hall near Loughborough in Leicestershire. The whole cost of this is being met by the Duke of Westminster’s charity, Black Stork.
Black Stork is spending over £300m on this new facility in the East Midlands, and it will provide state-of-the-art rehabilitation for at least the next 60 or 70 years.
By the time of the move in 2018 the Help for Heroes Rehab Complex, which is a small part of Headley Court, will be almost a decade old, and will have played a key role in the rehabilitation of thousands of wounded, injured and sick Servicemen and women.
The Headley Court site is run by a separate Trust, which dates back to 1946, and is independent of Help for Heroes.
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 01980 846459. We would love to hear from you and are always happy to answer any questions you have.