Military News: MOD Cuts, NEDs, SAFA Reaches Out…

It’s been a busy year for military news so far in 2018, we’ve collected some key stories that you might be interested in reading into further…

New developments in the world of electrical engineering have signalled a new beginning for nuclear detection, a leading British military charity is reaching out for volunteers and the Ministry of Defence is looking at heavy cuts to it’s budget…

US Electrics Company Introduces New NED Circuit

American electrics company, Wall Industries, has made a significant step towards a better future with the introduction of their Nuclear Event Detector (NED) and Shutdown Circuit. This new circuit is completely encased in an epoxy compound, which comes in a compact 1.250″ x 0.700″ x 0.35″ package and will have major applications to all major sectors including Healthcare, Science and the Military. The new module’s functions is to detect a nuclear event and emit a pulse to communicate a system deactivation message.

Wall Industries has been producing electronics for the past 50 years, supplying transformers and circuits to a variety of sectors all around the world. Their in-house research and development engineers are based in Exeter, NH.

MoD Faces Potential Cuts

The Ministry of Defence is facing criticism from the National Audit Office after it was found that the department has not accounted for more than £20bn of spending in its recent equipment budget. The budget, which includes spending on two major submarine projects amongst other things, failed to include a number of key figures which led to the NAO declaring that the MoD were not taking their budgeting seriously. Shadow defence minister Wayne David has spoken out, saying that the oversights for such huge projects ‘beggars belief’.

The NOA have been clear in their admonishment of the MoD, stating that: ‘The department’s equipment plan is not affordable. At present the affordability gap ranges from a minimum of £4.9bn to £20.8bn.‘

SSAFA reaches out public for help with Veterans

SSAFA – The Armed Forces Charity has reached out to the public asking for volunteers to provide support and company to lonely veterans. Recent data suggests that one in five military veterans would feel less lonely if they had a ‘stronger support group’, with more than two in five British Armed Forces (aged between 25-45) saying that they have felt ‘lonely, isolated or suicidal’ since leaving the Forces.

With this in mind, the SSAFA have been working to hard to recruit volunteers with the aim of finding new ways of introducing veterans back into civilian life. When veterans transition away from the military service it can be difficult to adjust to changes in living arrangements in regards to finances and employment. The SSAFA are hoping that they can galvanise a new team of volunteers into providing support in these matters to veterans in need of both support and guidance.

Take On A Challenge in 2018

Push yourself to the limit this year and raise money for veterans!

Each year thousands of enthusiastic individuals challenge themselves to push their physical limits and take part in endurance challenges to raise money and awareness for Veterans charities.

Military life by it’s nature involves some serious training that often entails gruelling physical challenges that can truly push cadets and soldiers to the very limit of their abilities. Although we might all have different memories of our military training (not all of them positive!) these events are a great chance for us to meet new people, get some exercise and raise some money for a cause that really makes a difference to veterans’ lives.

The following challenges are by no means easy, therefore it’s worth considering if you have enough time to train before the day itself – find a couple of friends to join you to make the training that much easier:

100km in 24 hours Yorkshire for Blind Veterans

Founded as the Blinded Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Care Committee in 1915, Blinded Veterans has operated for over 100 years and has continued to support veterans that have partially or completely lost their sight. Each year they operate two endurance races that are open to both the public and ex-servicemen alike. On June 23rd, competitors can take part in a 100k route starting and finishing at Darley Memorial Hall, the route takes in a number of local monuments including Brimham Rocks and Ripley Castle.

Where? Starts at Darley Memorial Hall

When? 23rd June 2018

Balmoral Challenge for Walk with the Wounded

Through a variety of programmes Walk with the Wounded focuses its efforts on reintegrating veterans back into society, working with veterans with mental health difficulties, as well as those without homes or in need of qualifications. The charity raises money through a number of events, the Balmoral Challenge being just one of these. In teams of four, entrants walk alongside the wounded beneficiaries of the charity across one of three routes. Each route starts and finishes in front of the Queen’s Scottish Residence with excellent support being provided by volunteers and serving members of the military alike.

Where? Starts at Balmoral, Scotland

When? 22nd June 2018

The Hundred Days Offensive for Soldiers’ Charity

2018 is the centenary anniversary of the Battle of Amiens, a conflict that combined forces from Australia, Canada, Britian and France in World War I. To commemorate this historic day, the Soldiers’ Charity will be organising a 100k walk as a tribute to the 18 million people whose lives were claimed by the First World War. The walk will trace the changing lines of the battlefield over the last hundred days of World War I and will be led by historian Steve Roberts.

Where? Cambrai Memorial

When? 10th-14th October 2018

Upcoming Sports Events: Home and Away

Sports and Fundraising collide this October and November.

Since the now legendary football match that took place on Christmas Day in World War I, there’s been a strong link between the sporting world and the military. 

The dynamic that exists between team mates is very similar to the one that bonds members of a squad together, this perhaps explains why veterans so often find themselves drawn to sporting social groups when they reach their retirement.

Taking part in regular sports activities is a great way to stay social and keep in shape, whether it’s kicking a ball around for a couple of hours a week or simply joining a running club, it’s these kinds of activities that can really boost your confidence and overall happiness.

Thanks to this link between sports and the armed forces, each year there are numerous events that aim to help veterans. We’ve searched the internet to find some of the more obscure activities that you can either support or join yourself, as a veteran:

Muang Thai Marathon

Running a marathon is no easy task, running a marathon in 30 degree heat is a challenge that not many would undertake lightly. Nevertheless, Kamonwan Fenn will be running the Muang Thai Marathon in Bangkok for Help 4 Forgotten Allies, a small scale charity that sends all their funds to help a dwindling collection of Thai veterans and widows from World War II. Kamonwan’s late husband, Mark Fenn, was a successful journalist and supporter of the charity, she’ll be running the Marathon as a dedication to him.

Where? Muang Thai, Thailand When? 8 October 2017

More info at:

Vetrov Epee

Many veterans like to get involved with a sport after they leave the forces and some of them even try to remain fighters! There’s a thriving Fencing scene throughout the UK and for those that have also served in the armed forces, there’s the opportunity for competing internationally this year in Russia. Small bands of veteran fencers will be making the trip out to St. Petersburg this November, so if you’ve not made plans for Remembrance Sunday, you could consider making a trip out to support them!

Where? Saint-Petersburg When? 4-5 November 2017

More info at:

Kerala Trek

Blind Veterans UK always have an exciting calendar of charity challenges and events on their schedule, this one stands out for it’s gruelling distance and stunning environment. This 10-day trek takes challengers through the South Indian region of Kerala, past tea plantations, villages and paddy fields, before ending on the sandy coast line. In order to take part, you’ll need to pay a registration fee of £299 and raise sponsorship of £3450 – be warned though, this is a demanding trek that is not for the fainthearted!

Where? Kerala, India When? 18-27 November 2017

More info at:

Level 2 Coaching Qualifications

Have you ever fancied yourself as a football coach? Sporting Force have teamed up with Sheffield United and the Royal British Legion to provide a 5 day training week that will arm veterans with the qualification which could feasibly see ex-servicemen employed as future coaches in sport clubs or primary school settings. Although the qualification is a general sports one, the training will be focused on football and should give the veterans a good opportunity to learn some invaluable skills. There are only 16 places available, but those who fail to get in the first time will be put on a list for the second phase in February 2018.

Where? Phoenix House, Catterick When? 27th November 2017

More info at:

Five Charities That Help Veterans In Need

Here in the UK we have great respect for our veterans…

…this is reflected by the huge range of charities that are supported throughout the country.

The vital work that these charities achieve, thanks to the hard work and determination of their employees and their patrons, cannot be underestimated. Leaving the military is a big moment for any soldier – it symbolises the end of their life as part of a squad and the beginning of their new life as a single unit. This transition from being part of a supportive team to operating solo can conjure up a series of mental challenges that, until recently, have not been properly recognised by the military. 

Thankfully, there are a number of UK-based charities that specialise in providing in-depth counselling and support for veterans who are struggling with making the transition, or are perhaps still dealing with psychological issues that have developed during their times in the service.

If you’re in need of counselling, know someone who does, or perhaps just need a friendly voice to talk to, check out one of the following charities to see how they can help:

Help for Heroes

Probably one of the most recognised armed forces charities in the UK, the money that Help for Heroes raises gets divided amongst a variety of causes, covering anything from Housing Support to Physical Therapy for injured troops. In order to qualify for help you need to have sustained an injury or illness during or as a result of your service in the forces. Recently, the charity has been focusing a lot more on mental health, helping soldiers suffering from PTSD to effectively combat their issues.

Go to:

PTSD Resolution

Whilst the government remains a little cagey in their treatment of Gulf War Syndrome and the debilitating effects of PTSD, there are a few charities that focus entirely on this issue. PTSD Resolution uses a nationwide network of 200 qualified therapists to provide treatment sessions to Veterans who suffer from mental health problems that are a result of military trauma. Their help reaches out to veterans who are struggling to cope with civilian life, as well as those with drug addictions or who are currently incarcerated.

Go to:

Veterans Aid

Founded in 1932 as The Embankment Fellowship Centre, Veterans Aid has been finding accommodation for homeless veterans since it’s inception. Initially set up to combat the huge number of ex-military men who were sleeping rough on the streets of London after the fallout of World War I; the charity has built up international recognition for it’s methods that seek to find immediate solutions rather than delayed ones. VA immediately house any veteran that seeks their help in temporary accommodation and then put a programme in place to find the veteran permanent residence and stability.

Go to:

SSAFA: The Armed Forces Charity

The Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Families Association is the oldest national Armed Forces charity in the UK. Founded in 1885, the Charity has been helping soldiers and their families for well over 130 years. During World War I, the SSAFA paid out more than £1m to the families of soldiers and commanded it’s own army of 50,000 voluntary workers who were committed to helping out their fellow Brits. Flash forward to today; thanks to high-profile patrons like the Queen and the work of its president Prince Michael of Kent, SSAFA has successfully helped thousands of veterans’ and serving soldiers’ families – providing housing advice, debt advice and help with mental illnesses.

Go to:

Making The Transition: Who Can Help?

When Military life ends a new chapter of a serviceman’s life begins.

It’s important to take time to plan your transition out of Service life, back into the world of the civilians.

You should not only consider your personal health, but also your psychological state and your relationships with your friends and family. For those that have been in the Armed Forces for a particularly long stint, there might be a whole slew of practical skills that need to be learnt so that one can continue their life with stability and independence. Health issues, both long term and short term, should be checked up on and assessed, so that you can ensure that you’re in the best shape possible when entering your new life.

Practical things such as housekeeping, basic accountancy and childcare aren’t necessarily skills that Veterans develop during their time in Service, so it’s important to find some help in these matters if you want to make a smooth transition from military life to civilian life.

Thankfully, Personal Recovery Centres exists that can help you make this transition smoothly, ensuring that you’re never alone during what can be a challenging period in your life.

As part of a government led initiative, the Ministry of Defence working with Help for Heroes and The Royal British Legion, have been working to develop and build a number of Personal Recovery Centres across the country with the aim of giving access to important services and resources for wounded, injured or sick personnel. Working in conjunction; both the charities and the MoD formulate individual care plans which give the recovering troop structure whilst they get used to civilian life.

For these troops, questions like: ‘How much does a CT scan cost?‘ and ‘How do I receive my military pension?’ can be easily answered by a team of well trained staff who work at centres in Edinburgh, Colchester, Tidworth House, Catterick and even Germany.

One centre that has gained particular public recognition is the Battle Back Centre in Lilleshall.

Established at the National Sports’ Centre, this programme is tailored to ex-servicemen who have been wounded or injured and are in need of support. The programme offers residential housing for up to 24 servicemen and gives them the opportunity to take part in adaptive sports and adventure activities which are aimed at rejuvenating the participants and instilling them with the confidence that they need to either re-enter service or transition into civilian life smoothly.

Establishments like the Battle Back Centre are crucial to giving the Veteran a chance to re-build self-esteem, but they provide more than just a confidence boost for injured soldiers, they also give the MoD an opportunity to assess the individual’s psychological state, as well as their life skills, so that they can be appropriately trained for life as a civilian. Practical projects and training is also provided for ex-troops, so that they can re-enter the working the world with the skills necessary to succeed.

If you think you could benefit from support from a Personal Recovery Centre then head to this site to find out more:

Upcoming Events: September-October

We’ve got a busy couple of months coming up!

If you’re a Gulf Veteran who’s looking to get involved in an outdoor activity, or a friend of a veteran who would like to raise some money for a worthy cause, then there are a number of great events being organised by big and small charities in the run up to this year’s Remembrance Day that you can take part in.

From international athletics competitions to uplifting concerts in the capital, there’s some great opportunities on the horizon – so get involved!

Invictus Games 2017

In 2014, Prince Harry created the Paralympic-style event in order to give wounded or injured armed service personnel the chance to compete at an international level. The first games were held in London at the Olympic Park, with the second games following in 2016, this time in Florida, USA. After another successful event, which saw 16 teams from different countries compete in a number of events, the next games were announced to be held in Toronto.

When? 24 September-30 September 2017 Where? Toronto

Visit for more info.

Driffield Dog Show

Although it might seem like half a world away from the games in Toronto, support for our veterans comes in all shapes and sizes! For the second year, the National Gulf Veterans and Families Association will be attending the Driffield Dog Show. The clue’s in the name, the Wetherby Racecourse & Conference Centre, which is equidistant between York and Harrogate, will be home to hundreds of dogs and their owners, all of whom will be hoping to pick up awards for their efforts. Make sure to stop by at the NGVFA’s stand to say ‘Hello’ and see how you can help out – entrance is free!

When? 28 September-1 October 2017 Where? Wetherby Racecourse, Wetherby

London Pride Concert

Thanks to the resounding success of last year’s London Pride, the Central Band of the Royal British Legion are back once more to wow another packed out audience – will you be one of them? Southwark Cathedral will once more be the venue, with musical director David Cole leading the Central Band through an evening’s programme of London-themed music, which is sure to create a truly uplifting ambience in such a grand historical setting. Tickets start as cheap as £10 with central nave seats costing £30.

When? 14 October 2017 Where? Southwark Cathedral, London

Buy tickets from:

The Poppy Run

It’s never too late to start to take part in one of the 5km races that will be taking place all across the country throughout October and November this year. Take your friends, family and even your dog along for the ride. It’s up to you whether you decide to run, jog or walk, either way you’ll be raising money for a good cause. Entry fees, payable to the Royal British Legion, are £15 for an adult and £7.50 for 7-17 year olds – anyone younger can run for free! Whilst there is no minimum fundraising target, every penny that you raise will go to helping the armed forces community, including Gulf Veterans.

When? 28 October-5 November 2017 Where? Nationwide

Get more info at: