This is a difficult start to the year for many of us, but it is good to see positive stories amid the gloom such as Kuziva’s – a veteran we are proud to have supported, who is now an intensive care nurse on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic. You can read more of his story below.
It has also been heartening to see the extent to which the Armed Forces are stepping up, with the MOD reporting that over 5,000 Armed Forces personnel have been deployed to help with the virus response, making it “the biggest homeland military operation in peacetime”. Thank you to all our servicemen and women who are helping in the fight against COVID-19.
Here at ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, our support for the Army family continues undimmed. Despite homeworking, we are still able to make grants within 48 hours when we are made aware that a soldier, veteran or immediate family member needs help. We are also cooking up lots of exciting initiatives that you can get involved with both during and after lockdown – read on for more information or have a look at our website.
Kuziva’s Story: Nursing on the COVID-19 Frontline
Kuziva left the Royal Horse Artillery to pursue his passion for nursing in civilian life. During his studies, Kuziva struggled to support his wife and young sons on a minimal wage. When his boiler broke, the family could not afford a replacement and Kuziva became desperately worried. We supported him with a grant for a boiler replacement to ensure his family could be kept safe and warm.
Kuziva is now working as an intensive care nurse on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic. He says: “I’m seeing some of the sickest COVID patients. Some have managed to recover, but I’ve seen the worst as well.” Read more here.
£30,000 awarded to veterans battling addiction
One of our major areas of work is mental wellbeing. This year, we awarded £30,000 to With You’s Right Turn programme, which supports veterans struggling with drugs or alcohol addiction. Specifically designed for veterans, the Right Turn programme works around the strengths, challenges and experiences of military life to guide people along the path to recovery. Read more here.
Podcast: General Talk with General Sir James Everard
Our President talks candidly about taking over from General Sir Mike Jackson in the midst of a pandemic, his NATO appointment and his time as Patron of the Army’s LGBT forum.
General Talk is a monthly podcast featuring figures from across the British Army and our charity. Hosted by author and retired Army officer Harry Bucknall, it offers an insight into the ever-changing role of the military in the modern world and our work supporting the Army family. Listen Now.
Wheels on the Western Front: Ride to Arnhem 2021
Join us in September for our Wheels on the Western Front: Ride to Arnhem cycling event to commemorate the Battle of the Bridges in 1944.
Between 5th-10th September 2021, cycle over 300 miles through France and Holland, following the route of the British 2nd Army from the Normandy Breakout to the landing zones north of Arnhem. Listen to our dedicated historian bring the sites, memorials and battlegrounds to life, while paying your respects to the British, American, Polish and other Allied troops who fought and fell there. Register Now.
Thank you for enabling us to fulfil our promise of being here for soldiers, for life.
Martin Rutledge CB OBE
Chief Executive, ABF The Soldiers’ Charity