Legion donates £50k to The Gurkha Welfare Trust to support relief efforts in Nepal

Legion donates £50k to The Gurkha Welfare Trust to support relief efforts in Nepal

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The Royal British Legion has made an initial grant of £50,000 to The Gurkha Welfare Trust's Earthquake Response Fund to support the relief effort in Nepal.

The Legion is urging the public to donate to The Gurkha Welfare Trust's vital work as the tragic news of another major earthquake in the region is reported today.

Serving and former Gurkha soldiers and their dependants are entitled to the Legion's support. When unable to provide help directly to beneficiaries the Legion works in partnership with other specialist organisations to reach those in need.

Chris Simpkins, The Royal British Legion's Director General said:

"We are shocked by the devastating scenes of destruction seen in Nepal over the last two weeks.

"The Gurkha Welfare Trust is placed to deliver urgent help on the ground to the British Armed Forces Gurkha veteran community and their families affected in Nepal.

"The British public rightly feel very strongly about the Gurkha community and their role with the British Armed Forces, and it is our duty to support them when they need us."

Colonel William Shuttlewood, Director of The Gurkha Welfare Trust said:

"Two weeks ago, an earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale devastated vast swathes of the traditional Gurkha recruitment areas of Nepal. The Trust's staff responded immediately, deploying into the field to provide both immediate aid to our Gurkha veterans and families and to support the wider community relief effort.

"The damage is widespread and severe; to date 375 veterans' homes have been completely destroyed with hundreds of others damaged to a lesser degree. I fear this number will rise as we discover the full extent of the second large earthquake. We are extremely grateful to The Royal British Legion for its financial support at this time of need for our Gurkha veterans."

Many of the affected Gurkha veterans are in their 80s or 90s and desperately need medication and care. The funds provided by the Legion will be added to the £1 million already raised and contribute towards the relief effort bringing supplies, providing temporary accommodation and financial aid.

The legacy of these earthquakes will last years and the immediate need for aid will turn into the long term need to rebuild communities, homes and lives. The Gurkha Welfare Trust will continue to operate in Nepal long after the emergency aid charities have withdrawn and funds provided by the Legion and the generosity of the public will ensure a legacy of support in the region. 

Notes:

The Earthquake Response Fund will be used for:

  • Medical aid, food, shelter, etc
  • Financial grants for affected veterans
  • Rebuilding homes
  • Repairing water supply systems
  • Repairing schools
  • Repairing GWT infrastructure

The Gurkha Welfare Trust logoThe Gurkha Welfare Trust is the lead Gurkha welfare charity. It was established in 1969 to relieve poverty and distress among Gurkha ex-Servicemen and their dependants in Nepal and, more recently, in the UK. It provides financial, medical and community aid. As a registered charity (Reg Charity No. 1103669), The Gurkha Welfare Trust relies on the generosity of the general public to fund its work. For more information on the work of the Trust, please go to www.gwt.org.uk.