We have announced the difficult decision to undergo a major restructure in order to protect our life-changing recovery services from the devastating financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
As a charity, we rely on public donations for 97% of income but this has reduced hugely over recent months with all planned face-to-face fundraising events and activities since April either cancelled or postponed. We are also anticipating a 30% reduction in Help for Heroes regular income over the coming years with the ongoing economic recession.
This loss of income, coupled with a significant surge in demand for our recovery services during the height of the pandemic, means we have no choice but to review our service delivery and put 142 staff roles at risk. As a result of the proposed changes, we anticipate making up to 90 redundancies.
Melanie Waters, CEO, said the decision was extremely tough but that we had a responsibility to ensure that the lifelong support promised to the men and women who suffered life-changing injuries or illnesses as a result of their service could continue against the backdrop of the pandemic.
She 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.”
With significant uncertainty around the economy and ever-changing Covid restrictions, we will continue to focus on face to face community and digital services. This means that we will not be operating out of three of our Recovery Centres for the foreseeable future; Catterick, Colchester and Plymouth. We will be returning to centre-based services in a Covid-secure environment from Tedworth House over the coming months and we are also working to reopen our community office in Wales. We are also building our new Community Rehabilitation Teams from October, which will initially increase the number of staff we have working on the ground in the North, South, East and West of England, and in Wales.
We were quick to adapt our support in March, despite having to furlough nearly 40% of staff for up to seven months. We have continued to deliver virtual and remote support through our fellowship, welfare, clinical, grants and psychological wellbeing services ever since. We will continue to provide our world class recovery support to those who need it.
Demand for support rose significantly during lockdown with a 33% increase in new people coming forward for support with their mental health in May and June 2020 compared to the same period last year, as well as nearly 30% more new referrals into our physical health focused service.
If you need support, please get in touch.
To donate and give much needed support, please visit https://helpforheroes.org.uk/donate-online/