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17 May 23. Victory! Lump Sum Payment For War Widows. BATTLESPACE is delighted with the above announcement for widows of serving personnel who forfeited their pensions prior to 2015.
“We hope that our campaign which started with the Angela Nettlefold Memorial Race at Chepstow in 2013, contributed to the understanding of the role played by carers and wives of servicemen. The government refused my mother a pension in 2012 as she had not paid her stamp. I pointed out that she had looked after my disabled father for 63 years.” Julian Nettlefold of BATTLESPACE said.
We have raised over £200,000 for military charities since then and now the Chepstow Military Raceday is part of the racing calendar! We thank all of those people and organisations who have given such a large contribution to make it happen.
This recognition payment is appropriate under the Armed Forces Covenant, a unique commitment by the nation in acknowledgment of the sacrifices that members of our Armed Forces and their families make for our security. A key principle of the Covenant is that special consideration is appropriate in some cases, especially for those who have given so much, such as the injured and the bereaved.
The scheme, in recognition of the sacrifice these bereaved individuals have made, will be up and running later this year and all those who are eligible are strongly encouraged to come forward and apply.
The Ministry of Defence has announced a one-off payment of £87,500 for eligible spouses in recognition of those who forfeited their pensions prior to 2015.
- A one-off payment of £87,500 for eligible spouses
- In recognition of those who forfeited their pensions prior to 2015
- Justified under a key principle of the Armed Forces Covenant
Widows of serving personnel who forfeited their pensions prior to 2015 could be eligible for a one-off payment of £87,500 as part of the government’s continued support for the armed forces, their families and veterans.
The new joint initiative from the Ministry of Defence and the Treasury will address old rules in which a cohort of bereaved spouses, civil partners and eligible partners forfeited their pensions if they remarried or cohabited before 2015.
The scheme and one-off payment are designed to support those whose spouses’ death was attributable to service. The application window, open later this year, will remain open for two years with support for applicants provided by the Veterans UK Call Centre, and welfare support available through the Veterans Welfare Service for those who require emotional support during the process.
Minister for Defence People, Veterans and Service Families, Dr Andrew Murrison said: “Our war widows have made a great sacrifice for our country and we will continue to support them in every way we can. This payment is a small but important step towards continuing to honour the commitment we have made to these brave people and we will continue to ensure they receive the recognition and support they deserve.”
Chief Secretary to the Treasury John Glen said: “The legacy of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for this country endures, and it’s only right that we honour that service by doing right by their loved ones. This government will always stand behind our armed forces, their families and veterans and this payment is a token of our continued commitment to them.” (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
16 May 23. Functional fitness should be at the heart of a veteran’s recovery. An op-ed from Veterans Minister Johnny Mercer, originally published in the Times Red Box. Monday marked the start of Mental Health Awareness Week. For me, the week is always a reminder of how the mental aspects of warfare can often be as powerful as the physical.
Early on in my third tour of Afghanistan in summer 2010, I made a close friend. He was a good bloke — intelligent, thoughtful and a good soldier. He was brave, didn’t flinch under fire.
On a patrol, he was shot in the side. Though the round pinged off his new body armour plate, something in his head snapped. He had to be extracted as a casualty, despite having no physical injury; he just could not compute what had happened to him.
It was perhaps the worst case of battle shock I had seen in a British soldier up to that point. It was devastating to see a man so strong, yet so completely broken by battle. It had a profound effect on me. It demonstrated to me the vicious and unpredictable effects of trauma on the mind.
A few years later, I bumped into a soldier I’d trained with back in 2007. He had completely transformed himself from a problem character into an exemplar soldier. He made a point of telling me how important those early days in training had been: how they had taught him humility, courage, discipline and resilience.
Seeing him reminded me how rewarding it had been to help him and many others like him make something of themselves. I started to think about where I might be able to make a difference in the future.
Heading home from Afghanistan, I felt that tokenism dominated almost every approach to veterans’ care and mental health. When it came to post-combat care specifically, I strongly believed that the government had singularly failed our service men and women.
I wanted to end the unacceptable stigma and lack of genuine commitment to mental health. My mind was made up. I was going to leave the Army and become an MP. As the minister for veterans’ affairs, I’ve made it my mission to improve the plight of veterans and their families. And with that comes improving access to health services.
One real service innovation has been to take a multidisciplinary approach: addressing not just physical health needs, but the wider health and social needs of the veteran so they can heal, recover and thrive.
Op Courage was the pioneer: a single clear defined pathway for veterans in England to access world-class mental health care. The Veterans Trauma Network, another dedicated NHS service for veterans, is also helping to standardise physical health support. It is the services charity sector that is complementing these services with excellent wraparound support.
Being active can make a world of difference. The Veteran Games, taking place later this month in Tel Aviv, will host over 60 wounded British veterans together with their spouses and children. They will compete with their Israeli counterparts across swimming, shooting and functional fitness. Now in its third year, the Games was set up by the charity Beit Halochem UK, which supports state-of-the-art centres for injured veterans in Israel, and is entirely run from philanthropic donations.
Competing veterans have been selected by charities based on how much they will benefit from the opportunity, rather than for their sporting prowess. It is the taking part that counts, and everything that comes with it. This includes building shared, long-term bonds with their fellow UK and Israeli competitors.
I am inspired by the veterans who are challenging themselves, and encouraging others to do the same. I will be cheering for them later this month — not only to grab those medals, but to continue on their personal journeys to recovery. (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, has been providing lifelong support to our Forces and their families since 1885. In 2020, our teams of volunteers and employees helped more than 79,000 people in need, the currently serving (both regulars and reserves), veterans from the Second World War and those who have served in more recent conflicts, as well as their families. SSAFA understands that behind every uniform is a person. And we are here for that person – any time they need us, in any way they need us, for as long as they need us.