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.
“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.
“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.”
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