The Chair, Trustees and members of the Management Committee welcome you to the website of the Army Widows’ Association.
The Association was founded in 2004 by a group of Army widows who felt that there was a need for an organisation that represented and understood the needs of today’s Army Widows. We welcome Widows/ Widowers and recognised partners of Army personnel, regardless of cause of death. Although we do have members who have been widowed through conflict, a significant number of our members are widowed through road traffic accidents, suicides, accidents in training and through cancer, heart disease and other long term illnesses. Our youngest member is 19, the majority of our members are in their twenties, thirties and forties, and unfortunately, our membership continues to grow. All our members know how it feels to have lost a spouse and we offer mutual support, sympathy and friendship.
We help members with information about pensions, savings and tax issues, through signposting. When required, we direct widows to support agencies such as SSAFA, RBL and Regimental Associations, and we have a thriving private Facebook page where information and support is available. There are usually members who can answer questions because they have faced similar issues in the past, and are willing to pass on helpful information and experience.
Twice a year we host respite weekends. Members have the opportunity to join us for a subsidised weekend, in a hotel, or, at Amport House, courtesy of the Army Chaplain’s Department; we have a drinks reception and a ‘dress up’ dinner in the evening, because members tell us they miss putting on the ‘Glad Rags’. These respite weekends are attached to the AGM and the annual visit to the National Memorial Arboretum.
We spend a third weekend, Remembrance, in London and we attend the Festival of Remembrance on the Saturday. On the Sunday we join with the Navy, Air Force and War Widows to march past the Cenotaph where we lay a wreath in memory of our late husbands.
Many of our members tell us they were unsure about joining our association, but once they had done so, were glad that they had taken the step. Making new friends, having some ‘me time’, having fun and having a supportive network in times of need. It is a very difficult concept to welcome members to an association that no-one wants to be eligible to join, but, we welcome everyone for the’ Friendship and Support’ which we can all give.
The Army Widows’ Association is a Registered Charity (Number 1127921), and all money raised goes directly towards helping our members. All Committee members are volunteers who are also members of the Association.