ABF – The Soldiers’ Charity give lifetime support to serving and retired soldiers and their families. They provide financial assistance to all soldiers, and families including bereaved families. The scope of their work is huge, half of their money is given directly to individuals in need, the other half is given in grants to other charities. The AWA has been privileged to receive money from the ABF.
The Royal British Legion (RBL) help serving members of the Armed Forces, ex-Service men and women and their families. They can provide practical care, advice and support. RBL can provide a volunteer caseworker who can help with basic information regarding bereavement services in your area. There is also The Royal British Legion Women’s Section which has 900 branches across the British Isles and Overseas. Their specially tailored welfare support is available to those who have served in the Armed Forces, or dependants of someone who has served.
Cruse a bereavement Charity which can provide help in the forms of counselling, group sessions or just someone on the telephone, for anyone following the death of someone close. They provide children, and young people services too.
Winston’s Wish is a Charity set up in 1992 to try to help meet the needs of bereaved children, young people and their families. Since then they have helped thousands of children begin to live with their loss. Winston (the bear mascot), has a wish that every child should receive the help and support they need to cope with the death of someone important in their lives.
Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA) Forces Help a Charity set up to help Forces Personnel and their families in whatever way possible. They can provide advice and information, support groups and many more services which may be useful.
Help for Heroes originally set up to help injured Service Personnel is now a very well known charity who can provide direct practical support, but who also support other Charities by sharing the money they raise.
Child Bereavement UK is a Charity providing support and information for all families when a child is grieving or when a child dies. They have specially trained professionals to help families rebuild their lives after loss.
Combat Stress is the UKs leading Charity that specialises in the treatment and support of British Armed Forces who suffer mental health problems. All services are free of charge.
The Officers’ Association provides assistance for those who hold/have help commission in the British Armed Forces and their families. This may include assistance with seeking employment.
Scotty’s Little Soldiers A charity dedicated to supporting bereaved British Forces Children aged 0-18 years. Support is available to families from the British Army, Royal Navy or RAF, regular and reserves and is not limited to those killed in action. Children who have lost a parent through illness or accident are also eligible as long as their parent was a serving member of the British Forces at the time of their death, or was medically discharged due to a condition which eventually led to their death.
Forces Support Charity A charity set up in honour of all the brave service personnel who have lost their lives in current and recent conflicts, or while serving within these times. They provide general maintenance around the home and garden, the work the lost family member would have done for his or her family. Or the jobs that have built up while a family grieves.
Army Families Federation The AFF is the independent voice of Army families and works to improve the quality of life for Army families around the world in any aspect that is affected by Army lifestyle. It is independent of the Army, and offers confidential advice. Advice can be provided on a range of subjects including health and additional needs, education and childcare, and employment and training.
Family Lives A registered Charity aimed at improving “family life”. They aim to help families with any problem or challenge they face. They have trained family support workers who can offer all family members immediate and on-going help on the telephone, online, or in the local community.
WAY Foundation A registered charity set up to support those who lost a partener or spouce whilst under the age of 50. They support both men and women. The charity was set up in 1997 and now has more than 1,500 members.
HMS Heroes A national support group for the children of Service men and women and their relatives including bereaved families. A tri-Service network of after-school clubs, HMS Heroes brings together members of Service families aged between three and 18 years old from all over the country. Any school can sign up to HMS Heroes.
Veterans World A publication produced 6 times a year by Veterans UK. Veterans World aims to raise awareness of the help, advice and support available to veterans, their families, and bereaved families, from organisations, government, voluntary and charitable sectors. All copies are available for download as a PDF using the above link. Should you wish to receive an emailed link to each issue as it is published, please email Veterans UK: Veterans-UKfirstname.lastname@example.org.
Pensions and finances:
Veterans UK provides pay, pension and support services to military personnel, veterans and bereaved families of service personnel. They also provide services such as: Storage of Wills, Armed Forces Compensation Scheme, Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre, issuing and engraving of medals, and issuing of veterans badges.
Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) is responsible for welfare and pension policy in the UK. Here you can find help and advice regarding pensions and benefits (including bereavement benefits).
Forces Pension Society is an independent, not-for-profit organisation that acts as the pension watchdog for the whole military community. The Society is funded by membership subscriptions and offers members a wide range of benefits such as free copies of Pennant Magazine, discounts on Healthcare, Travel, Motoring, legal and financial services, and access to experts in Pension advice.
The Army Dependants’ Trust is a charity which provides discretionary cash grants to dependants of soldiers who die in service, whatever the cause.
JobCentre Plus is a Government run service to assist with many financial queries such as finding work, and a variety of benefits including the new Universal Credit. You will need to book an appointment with your local office to discuss your own individual circumstances.
Lloyd Piggott Chartered Accountants. An accountancy firm with specific experience in working with widows and military personnel, providing a high quality accountancy, audit and tax planning service.
Tickets for Troops Army widows don’t just have access to a range of state benefits, but can also continue to access many of the services that serving soldiers enjoy. Tickets for Troops is a charity which offers tickets to a range of music, theatre and sporting events for free. The tickets are donated by the event organisers, and are distributed either by ballot or on a first come first served basis. These are not minor events either, in the past our members have attended rugby internationals, international football matches, and even leading West End shows, and all for free!
Families Activity Breaks (FAB) is a non-public funded, tri-services charitable initiative in partnership with YHA (England and Wales) Ltd., providing fun and challenging activity camps around the UK for bereaved Military families.
Childrens Education Advisory Tri-services organisation funded by the MOD to provide information and support to Service families and eligible MOD civilians on all aspects of the education of their children in the UK and overseas. They also hold a list of schools which offer bursaries to the children of forces personnel.
Veterans UK The Coalition Governments “Programme for Government” included an undertaking to provide University and further education scholarships for the children or Service personnel who have been killed on active duty since 1990. On the basis that graduates earn more over their lifetime than non-graduates, the Programme aims to give these children a head start in life. Scholarships will vary across the UK, and may be means tested.
Wellington College Foundations Wellington College in Berkshire offers those children of deceased servicemen and women a very generous fee remission. This is subject to entry requirements. For further information please contact the Bursar’s Office.
Duke of York’s Royal Military School Some bereaved children may be able to benefit from a Scholarship from The Duke of York’s Royal Military School. As this is arranged on a purely individual basis please contact the school directly for more information.
Lord Kitchener National Memorial Fund (LKNMF) Established more than 80yrs ago the fund aims to provide scholarships for sons and daughters or those serving and who have served in the armed forces. Scholarships may cover school leavers or post-graduate studies. The application depends on the parents service record, the applicants own academic record, the offer of a place at University and evidence of other, non-academic qualities such as responsibility and leadership. To find out more information or to apply please visit the website.
Supporting the unsung hero is a dependents business start up initiative. It is run through The University of Wolverhampton and helps widows/ers and dependents to set up their own business. As well as through the University, more information can be found via their Facebook group.
Other widow organisations:
War Widows Association of Great Britain is essentially a pressure group which exists to improve the conditions for War Widows and their dependants. This is where you can find more information regarding HM Forces Railcards.
RAF Widows’ Association providing emotional and practical help based on personal circumstances to widows or RAF personnel.
Royal Navy Royal Marines Widows Association bringing friendship, support, guidance and comfort to those who have experienced the trauma of bereavement. Each member has lost a loved one while serving in Royal Navy or Royal Marines.
National Memorial Arboretum a special place to honor all who served and continue to serve our nation in many different ways. Covering 150 acres the Arboretum is a beautiful place with trees and more than 200 dedicated memorials making it a living tribute that will forever acknowledge the personal sacrifices made by the Armed Forces and civilian services of this country. In 2013 the Army Widows Association dedicated a bench to all our lost loved ones.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission ensures that those who died in the two world wars will never be forgotten. They care for cemeteries and memorials in 23,000 locations, in 153 countries. They work to preserve records, and maintain cemeteries and memorials across the world.
War Memorials Trust works for the protection and conservation of war memorials in the UK. They provide advice and information, as well as run grant schemes for the repair and conservation of these memorials.
Lady Grover’s Fund A Friendly Society (not a charity), was established in 1911. This Fund is aimed at assisting Military Officers, and their families, including bereaved families with the cost of hospital and nursing care. There is an annual subscription, but for this the Fund can provide help in meeting the often heavy, unexpected costs of illness.
King Edward VIIs Hospital London (Sister Agnes) A registered charity governed by Royal Charter, based at a private London Hospital, aimed at providing high quality care to ensure injured serving personnel are quickly put on the road to fitness. They also provide healthcare to ex-Service personnel, spouses, ex-spouses, widows and widowers, who may otherwise suffer long waiting lists. The hospital also offers means tested grants to widows/widowers for the very best healthcare with up to 100% of fees being paid by its charitable fund.
UK Ministry of Defence the Government Department responsible for management of our Defence Services. Aimed at providing the Armed Forces with the training, equipment and support necessary for their work.
H.I.V.E an information network, supporting the chain of command and service communities by providing up-to-date relevant information regarding a variety of subjects. for example relocation, local unit, civilian facilities, schools, further education, housing, healthcare facilities employment and training.
X-Forces Working with the four Widows Associations, X-Forces and the Forces Pension Society Charitable Fund have developed a four day bespoke Enterprise Discovery and Business Skills course for Armed Forces Widows and their dependants.