When we were selected as one of the charities to be supported by this appeal we were delighted – but also a little wary, as we are very protective of the veterans in our care. On the other hand, we understood what a wonderful opportunity the campaign offered, to reach individuals who desperately needed help but didn’t know that Veterans Aid existed.
Everyone understands why they should support war heroes and those injured in conflict, but the battle waged by those who seek VA’s help is much more prosaic – and it’s one everybody fights, on a daily basis. The enemy is “life”; its foot-soldiers are poverty, social isolation, unemployment, alcoholism, addiction, relationship breakdown, mental health and residency status issues.
It’s hard to say what the highlight was; being joined by two formerly homeless veterans on London Live TV and watching them speak with confidence and passion; seeing a man who came to our door carrying a copy of a newspaper cry with relief when he realised that we could stop him becoming homeless.
Homeless Veterans Appeal:
Evgeny Lebedev: How our readers' generosity will help
ABF The Soldiers’ Charity: Donations are truly exceptional
David Beckham lends his support
Interactive graphic: who has backed our campaign
How you have changed homeless veterans' lives
You can still donate - just click here
Full links on our Homeless Veterans site
This may be the end of the formal campaign, but for Veterans Aid it is a gift that will keep on giving. Through the generosity of the public and those who donated auction prizes we will benefit financially, but the real bonus is knowing that through this campaign we have saved the lives of men who may well have ended up homeless and in despair. On behalf of those veterans we help who have no voice, I want to thank all of those who became involved in the campaign from Evgeny Lebedev and his staff, to all of those who gave. The uniqueness of Veterans Aid within the ex-service community means that together, you have already made a difference to peoples’ lives. It doesn’t get better than that.
Hugh Milroy, CEO of Veterans Aid
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