Prince William today announces his support for The Independent’s Christmas appeal for Homeless Veterans, saying he is deeply troubled that the “courage, skills and talent” of many ex-servicemen and women are not being put to use in civilian life.
He called on the public to do something “small and meaningful” to support those British veterans who have fallen on hard times.
The Duke of Cambridge, who served with the RAF for seven years before leaving the military in 2013, also commended The Independent for “shining a spotlight” on the issue of homelessness among veterans through its appeal, which is being run in partnership with The Independent on Sunday, i, the London Evening Standard and London Live.
Money raised through the appeal will be split between Veterans Aid, which directly combats homelessness among ex-servicemen and women through its drop-in centre and hostel in London, and ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, the national charity of the British Army, an umbrella organisation which gives grants to more than 5,000 people every year.
In pictures: Homeless Veterans appeal
In pictures: Homeless Veterans appeal
1/20 Glynn Barrell
Glyn Barrell is among the veterans hoping to benefit from the self-build scheme in Plymouth
2/20 Rachel Holliday
Rachel Holliday is converting a police station into a hostel
3/20 Androcles Scicluna
Veteran Androcles Scicluna says performing boosted his confidence
4/20 Christopher Cole
Christopher Cole, 51, from London, spent three years in the Army but left in 1982
5/20 Maurillia Simpson
Former servicewoman Maurillia Simpson with the medals she won at last year’s Invictus Games
Jeremy Selwyn/Evening Standard
6/20 Martin Rutledge
Head of The Soldiers’ Charity, Martin Rutledge, says charities sometimes allow emotion to dictate their choices
7/20 Ben Griffin
Ben Griffin wants to open people’s eyes to the cycle of political violence
8/20 Robin Horsfall
Robin Horsfall, who fought in the Falklands and helped end the Iranian embassy siege
9/20 Mark Hayward
A bed for the night and food helped Mark Hayward out of misfortune
10/20 Ashley Rosser
Ashley Rosser, who served in the RAF, at the Veterans Aid hostel in east London
11/20 Dave Henson
Britain's Invictus Games captain Dave Henson says veterans’ charities helped rebuild his life
Chris Jackson/Getty Images
12/20 Hugh Milroy
Hugh Milroy dispels myths about war-zone veterans through his work as the CEO of Veterans Aid
13/20 Andy MacFarlane and Julie Taylor
Former soldiers Andy MacFarlane and Julie Taylor work at the Jaguar Land Rover plant in Solihull under a covenant connecting veterans with employers
14/20 Mark McKillion
Mark McKillion's experience of living on the street eventually left him feeling as though the only way to escape was to end his life. He survived his desperate jump from Westminster Bridge, and VA's help has restored his "faith in humanity"
Nigel, a navy veteran, remembers living on the beach in the run-up to Christmas, when it rained every day for a week. He slept on a bench for seven years whilst suffering from Parkinson's disease.
16/20 Keith Cooper
Before Keith Cooper had his place confirmed at Avondale House in Newcastle, he was working out whether he could afford to buy a tent to live in
17/20 Simon Weston
Simon Weston, a Falklands War veteran, said even something as simple as a cup of tea can be an important step in getting the life of a homeless veteran back on track.
18/20 Ian Palmer, professor of military psychiatry
Ian Palmer, the first professor of military psychiatry to the British Armed Forces, says that the depiction of all ex-service personnel having post-traumatic stress disorder may stop people who really need help from getting it
19/20 Douglas Cameron
Evgeny Lebedev with Douglas Cameron, who had a hernia operation while serving in Burma
Johnnie Shand Kidd
20/20 Veterans Aid
General Sir Mike Jackson, President of ABF The Soldiers' Charity, called for donations to the Homeless Veterans appeal
“The men and women of the armed forces serve all of us with their lives when called upon by their country,” the Duke said. “They would give their life to protect us, and they expect little in return.
“The armed forces life is tough, it’s unique, and it is also difficult sometimes to make the transition into civilian life afterwards. It troubles me deeply that our servicemen and women possess extraordinary courage, skills and talent, yet many find it difficult to gain meaningful employment in the civilian world and can fall on hard times.
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“We can all do something small but meaningful to give these anonymous heroes a helping hand, give them hope and put them on the right road to recovery.”
He continued: “I am grateful to The Independent’s Homeless Veterans campaign for shining a spotlight on this issue. The support of your readers for ABF The Soldiers’ Charity and Veterans Aid will ensure we can offer these men and women a helping hand when they need it most.”
Both charities being supported by the appeal welcomed the Duke’s words.
Dr Hugh Milroy, the chief executive of Veterans Aid, said: “We are blessed to have a Royal Family whose members have served with and supported our armed forces.”
Brigadier (Ret) Robin Bacon, chief of staff at ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, added: “His backing shows how important the campaign is for getting help to those veterans who need it.”Reuse content