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How to access our services

Support during the coronavirus outbreak

Please be assured that as the coronavirus outbreak continues to present challenges, we are working tirelessly to keep our services running so that we’re here for veterans and their families whilst keeping them, our staff and supporters safe.

 

 

SMS Header Wellbeing 2020

Please be assured that as the coronavirus outbreak continues to present challenges, we are working tirelessly to keep our services running so that we’re here for veterans and their families whilst keeping them, our staff and supporters safe.

Support for the days and weeks ahead

What is the need right now?

  • We know the winter months can be tough for you with feelings of loneliness, low mood and anxiety all heightened.

  • If you are one of our Very Seriously Injured (VSI) veterans, we know you face significant risks from common winter illnesses such as the cold and flu. We are here for you.

  • Christmas will be different for us all this year. For those that celebrate Christmas, living with injury or illness can make the festive season feel particularly challenging and trigger feelings of sadness or isolation.

What Help for Heroes continues to offer

  • The charity has not stopped any recovery services.

  • All our recovery services have been adapted and the charity continues to deliver remote support through its fellowship, welfare, clinical, grants, Recovery College, sports and psychological wellbeing services. We have also continued facilitating referrals into the War Injuries Clinic at Salisbury Hospital.

 

What have we been offering lately?

All stats accurate between 1 April – 30 September 2020

  • Our Hidden Wounds Service (supported over 700 new requests for support)

  • Fellowship Virtual Get Togethers (We ran 68 virtual get togethers and Q&A sessions for 343 members of our Fellowship networks)

  • Grants (the team awarded nearly £180,000 to veterans and family members)

  • Our Recovery College, the first of its kind for wounded veterans and their families, launched in September 2020 through online self-accessed modules and facilitated digital sessions via Teams.

  • Sports Recovery (launched digital home fitness sessions, Hot Topics seminars, virtual training sessions including Zwift workouts)

  • Our Clinical team (supported nearly 200 new requests for support from veterans and a further 54 attended our War Injuries Clinic at Salisbury Hospital)

  • In recent months we have also been providing a small amount of face to face support in the community, for example visits to the most severely wounded veterans or small group activities, taking account of particular needs for face-to-face contact and local Covid restrictions.

  • For each visit we have risk assessed the situation to minimise any Covid-related risks for everyone involved. We plan to build on these community-based sessions from January 2021, closely following Covid guidance at all times.

What changes have taken place?

  • We are closely following Government and NHS guidelines within England and the devolved nations which means unfortunately we have been unable to resume our face-to-face service delivery, except in a few exceptional circumstances. We are working really hard and are hopeful of a return to face to face delivery in the community and in a COVID secure environment from the Help for Heroes Recovery Centre in Wiltshire, Tedworth House as soon as guidelines allow.

  • As we continue building on our community-focused approach to recovery, we have made the decision that we will not be operating out of the remaining three of its Recovery centres for the foreseeable future. Working in the community is not new for Help for Heroes and we’re now building on those positive learnings and experiences, favouring this way of working.

  • We are working closely with MoD to ensure that all centres continue to provide core recovery activities for you Personnel during lockdown and beyond. 

  • As a result of the financial impact of the pandemic, we recently made 89 of our staff members redundant. Not all staff made redundant were from recovery (53) and we are actively recruiting into additional community roles. We are working really hard to ensure there is no impact on the quality of our offer through the staff changes

What can we say about recovery in the community?

  • In 2019, 49% of our activities were delivered in the community to great effect. We hope this approach allows us to reach more of you who may be unable to access a Recovery Centre.

  • Throughout the pandemic, we’ve been adapting to your changing needs. COVID restrictions mean you generally have a greater need for support closer to home, in their communities and online.

  • Help for Heroes has remained responsive to your changing needs, adapting its support to meet vital gaps over the past 13 years. That is partly why we are focusing on increasing delivery of face to face support in the community, as well as increasing digital access to the charity’s services.

  • We have been given some restricted funding from the Headley Court Trust to support us in extending our support for veterans and families in the community. With this funding, we are employing additional Veterans Community Nurses in the South, South East, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and additional Veterans Clinical Advisor and Occupational Therapy posts to support our existing Clinical Advisors.

  • Veterans Community Nurses work with you if you are in need of support to find solutions to your healthcare challenges (like pain management, mobility and clinical equipment), within your own community. This means meeting you in your homes, in the local area and at outreach events, helping you navigate the complicated healthcare system and advocating on your behalf to get the best possible care for your individual situation. The Veterans Community Nurses will also provide clinical advice and support.

Why are the changes necessary?

  • The financial impact of the pandemic has been devastating. 97% of our income comes from the Great British public and we have had to cancel almost all face to face fundraising this year. This has significantly affected our income in 2020. 

  • We expect that there will be a 30% reduction in Help for Heroes regular income over the coming years due to economic recession.

  • Some of these changes have been implemented after we listened to feedback and gained a greater understanding of the need and how to adapt to get better outcomes for you. It is not solely down to the pandemic, although that has accelerated the change

 

How can I signpost someone in need to our support?

Those in need of help are encouraged to request a call or email via our online form: https://www.helpforheroes.org.uk/get-support/get-support-today/ or to call us on 01980 844238, weekdays 9am-5pm.