The Covid-19 pandemic has intensely hit our Armed Forces community.
From older veterans in our care homes to young families affected by job losses and financial struggles, the need for RBL’s support is higher than ever.
At the same time, sadly, funding has been impacted by the pandemic. In 2020, for the first time in the 100-year history of the Poppy Appeal, we were unable to carry out face-to-face collections. As a result, we saw a shortfall of £20 million to this vital fundraising stream.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic started, members of the Armed Forces community who never imagined they would need support have come forward to us to seek help.
There has never been a more critical time for your support of RBL.
We must ensure that our Armed Forces community, and their families, always have somewhere to turn.
Make sure we are here for people like Steve
Steve King originally joined the Royal Army Ordnance Corps (RAOC) in 1989 and served during Operation Desert Storm. But whilst on exercise in 1996, preparing to go to Bosnia, he suffered a serious leg injury, which ended his military career.
After his medical discharge, Steve worked in sales but the effects of his injury became too much to bear and he had to stop working, which led to a downward spiral – eventually facing homelessness as the pandemic hit the UK.
At rock bottom and with nowhere else to turn, Steve contacted the Royal British Legion. And gifts like yours helped to secure him a safe place to stay during the first lockdown. We’ve since helped to find him a bungalow that is adapted to meet his medical needs.
"In desperation, I rang RBL, and they were fantastic. I’ve struggled over the past 18 months, and still struggle now, but the support I’ve had has been unforgettable," says Steve.
Help give vital support to families like Graham’s
When ex-Serviceman Graham Wells and his wife Leanne needed support for their disabled son Jamie, RBL supporters were there for them. Jamie cannot talk or walk, after being born with Down’s syndrome and developing a devastating form of epilepsy at eight months old.
With lockdowns keeping family networks apart, the Wells’ situation became even harder during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Graham and Leanne were keen to give Jamie, who is now six, a better quality of life, but needed funding to do so. Leanne spoke to RBL Case Officer Colette, who then reached out to partner organisations.
Together we provided almost £12,000. The funding has hugely improved Jamie’s life. He now has a trike and a specialist bed which allows him to go on holiday and spend time with his grandparents.
"My Nan had suggested ringing the RBL, and that single phone call has changed our lives," says Leanne.
Show your support
Any gift today will help provide financial hardship support to families who may be struggling during Covid-19.