HM Forces Charities

  Bingalau 16:20 16 Nov 2010

I have been wondering about the numerous charities designed for the forces such as the Royal Naval benevolent Trust, and equivalent trusts for the Army and Royal Air Force. So as I hadn't heard of them for a long while I looked them up and they are still operating. I know that just after the war ended there was an enormous amount of money floating about in the RNBT for starters, so there must have been more in the other trusts?

Why can't all these various charities be combined and a goodly sized heap of money from them be redistributed to the "Hero's Fund" Why wasn't this money made available for the various buildings that were required for the injured service people coming back from Afghanistan and Iraq.

It looks to me as if there are too many charities competing for cash, there are probably too many (Paid?) committees involved too.

  wiz-king 16:30 16 Nov 2010

Yup - some charities have amagamated but there are still too many chasing the one pot.

  Woolwell 16:53 16 Nov 2010

RNBT, BLESMA, SSAFA, Help the Heroes are just 4 of the charities to assist serving and ex-service men and women. They all have different aims. The problem with transferring money from one charity to another is that the money was given for that charity and for its object as described with the Charity Commission and the other charity may not fit in completely with that object. Donors could legitimately argue that they gave the money for one purpose but it is being used for another. However charities are encouraged to work collaboratively together and if their aims are very similar to merge.

I think that the problem with the service charities is that there are quite a number and people have got confused about which charity does what. There may well be scope for mergers.

  Bingalau 17:32 16 Nov 2010

Those are the lines I was thinking of too, maybe all together under the Royal British Legion where only one committee would be needed. Take a look at all these organisations below...
click here

A tad too many for my liking and that is only a part of them (RN & RM).

I must admit I was offered help for my recent operation when I got fed up waiting and paid for it myself. But as I wasn't desperate and could afford it (just about) I refused. The charity which offered the help is one I contribute to. It is needed for the lads coming home from places like Afghanistan severely wounded. It wouldn't have been right to have given with one hand and taken with the other. Their need is greater than mine.

  ams4127 22:02 16 Nov 2010

I just walked into all the major banks today with a bag of money for the Help for Hereos fund. Nobody seemed to know which bank collected for them and kept passing me on to the next one.

So I'm back at home, still with the bag of money and with no knowledge of where to send it.

I'm taking it into work at RAF Valley tomorrow and will give it to the Station Commander in the hope that his PA can sort it out.

  spuds 00:12 17 Nov 2010

One thing that I have noticed, is how the British Legion clubs have changed. Many have closed even after trying to recruit new non-forces members, and other clubs have appear to have gone into a franchisee mode.

Two of our local BL clubs have undergone some drastic changes over the past two or three years. Clubs were refurbished, then sold to private enterprise, but still retaining club membership and use of premises. Now both are up for sale, with one clubs membership trying to raise funding so as to regain ownership.

Of the remaining British Legion clubs, they seem to be struggling to survive.

  morddwyd 08:08 17 Nov 2010

The trouble with the Legion is marketing, to put it simply.

The first time I tried to join the Legion I was refused, because it was for ex-service personnel.

Despite 25 years service I was not eligible because I was still serving (that rule has now been changed, but it does show an attitude of mind).

The second time I made a simple on-line enquiry and the next thing I knew I had a rather rude old lady banging on the door wanting me to sign up there and then.

She was so persistent I wondered if she was on commission.

I've kept well clear of the British Legion since then.

  Bingalau 09:04 17 Nov 2010

The main reason clubs like the British Legion are closing is because the armed forces are not as big as they used to be. In the past there were thousands of ex-servicemen who were eligible to be members. They have all died off, it's as simple as that. The armed forces are not the same strength they used to be, so there are not as many leaving either.
I belong to the Royal Naval Association and also the Royal Marines Association (Liverpool Branches) Our problem is that although plenty of people join the navy/marines from this area, very few come back to the area after discharge. They have inevitably met and married a girl from down south, where all the naval ports are situated. So they settle in down there. As an example, Poole in Dorset has an RMA membership of about two hundred, Liverpool RMA has a membership of twenty five, down from one hundred and fifty ten years ago. All the old wartime men having died off.

  onthelimit 09:21 17 Nov 2010

Would the easiest thing have been to pay the cash into your account then send a cheque?

However, I'm sure the Staish will sort it.

  ams4127 20:45 17 Nov 2010

Yes it would. Being of a stupid nature, that solution never occurred to me!!

Staish has sorted it out. All is well.

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