Bluefriars are proud supporters of Veterans Lifeline and Crisis
"Giving is not just about making a donation. It is about making a difference"
Kathy Calvin - President and CEO of United Nations Foundation
People find themselves in financial difficulties for many different reasons and sometimes we need to look deeper at the root cause of a problem and help people not only with the issues of today but also with their dreams of tomorrow. Here are our current two chosen charities. They both deal with the immediate problems of their service users and then continue to support in many different ways to help people achieve better outcomes in their lives.
We hope you will find time to use the links on this page to be inspired by two conscientious charities who work on the front line every day to ensure help reaches those who need it the most.
Veterans Lifeline adopts a different approach to most other charities. They offer holistic support for veterans to help them regain a sense of purpose. This support can be often be required in different parts of their lives such as health, accommodation, addictions, finances, family issues, training and employment.
The Managing Director of Bluefriars, David Plummer, has supported Veterans Lifeline for many years“I feel it is important for business to reach out to people who are struggling. As part of this engagement, I have collected for the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal for many years.
More recently, I have been looking for a veterans’ charity whose approach offers more grass roots activism. It may come as no surprise that veterans suffer more physical and mental health problems than the general population. In fact a report published in the Lancet suggests that nearly 20 % of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have suffered from common mental health problems since leaving the armed forces.
Another contentious issues for veterans is homelessness. The paths that lead veterans to insecure housing or ultimately rough sleeping are complex and it is not possible to identify a single common cause. However, many of you will have personally encountered former military personnel who are reduced to asking for help on the streets. Statistics provided by various charities vary, but it is likely that the numbers in London alone exceed 1000 every night and may be much higher.
As the causes of problems for veterans are complex, so are the solutions. It takes time, dedication and a high degree of personal engagement to try to solve these difficult cases. Even then, it may not be possible to persuade veterans to accept a package of help that will meet their needs and the needs of their families, as they often combine vulnerability with a desire to succeed on their own terms.
I came across Veterans Lifeline and had the pleasure talking to their CEO Nick Perry, who is a former senior army medic with an exemplary record of service. I was deeply impressed by his enthusiasm to make the most out of his limited budget. I am convinced that Nick’s experience both in the field and his activism working with directly with veterans makes sure that maximum possible amount of each donation is directed at effective relief and assistance for veterans, with administration and overheads former a tiny percentage of the charity’s overall expenditure.
This is why the Bluefriars Group and I personally support Veteran’s Lifeline”.
Crisis are the national charity for the homeless. They work alongside people to rebuild their lives, finding suitable accommodation to help people off the streets through to supporting with a variety of social/health issues and onto stable employment.
Our Chair, David Owen, has supported Crisis for over five years not only by contributing to the cause but has also been prepared to roll his sleeves up and get stuck in by regularly volunteering for 5/7 days in homeless centres at Christmas. "In between cleaning toilets, manning doorways and playing chess with guests, I have met some fascinating people and avoided the flagrantly commercial elements of 'the festive season'. It is by no means a sacrifice or praiseworthy, as it is the best way to spend Christmas".