to provide Care for Casualties of the Boer War.
The Rifles Charities safeguard the welfare of the Regiment's serving soldiers, its 35,000 veterans and their families, through financial and practical support which lasts, if required, for life.
Our existing funds are already heavily committed to supporting serving and retired members of our antecedent regiments, disbursing some £330,000 last year to 691 cases.
We need to increase the size and responsiveness of the funds at our disposal to meet the demands of the increased intensity of operations and resultant casualties which have occurred since the formation of The Rifles. It is for this reason that the Care for Casualties Appeal has been set up. Funds received from this appeal will be ring-fenced and used for the immediate and long-term care of casualties sustained by the Regiment due to our involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq since its formation in 2007.
We work carefully to avoid duplication with other Service Charities who provide niche services (Combat Stress) and long term second line support (Army Benevolent Fund and The Royal British Legion). For example we frequently contribute jointly to cases raised with the last 2 organisations.
How We Help
The Rifles Charities and Care for Casualties provide the first line and immediate response to Regimental cases of need. Because we are well informed and proactive, we can anticipate and respond swiftly to problems without having to go through complicated, time consuming process. There is no time for such niceties when a badly wounded young soldier is being evacuated and parents, with no financial reserves, need to be at his bedside waiting for him to regain consciousness without additional worry.
This Regimental dimension is an important component of morale and ensures no Rifleman is failed by the system.
Battalion Level Support
Our 5 Regular and 2 TA battalions need additional resources to provide immediate support during and after their operational deployments. Typically a Regular Battalion on operations will need between £35,000 and £45,000 in the course of a tour to meet the following needs amongst others:
Immediate Support and Reassurance to The Individual. Mainly in the form of comfort packs of useful items given to wounded Riflemen on arrival in hospital at Selly Oak.
Immediate Support to Next of Kin in the Aftermath of Injury or Death. Examples include covering the loss of earnings of a self employed Next of Kin unable to earn whilst at his son’s bedside for a protracted period. Help with travel, accommodation and other expenses where the MOD allocation does not cover the family circumstances and needs.
Provision of Funds and Practical Help For The Welfare and Moral Support of Families of the Wounded and Fallen.
Regimental Recovery Capability
The core of our response to the needs of current casualties and their next of kin is centred on The Regiment's innovative and leading concept of a Regimental Recovery Capability. This has been set up with charitable funds for a 2 year period up to Dec 2012. The Recovery Capability keeps watch over the progress of our wounded in rehabilitation, the circumstances and needs of our bereaved Next of Kin. In the long term it will monitor the progress of all affected and remain observant for latent problems amongst our veterans such as post traumatic stress. It is also the channel through which we manage donations of help in kind. For more on how we help our families, wounded and bereaved see News and The Regimental Casualty Capability sections.
Increasing The Financial Strength and resources Of The Rifles Charities
Higher rates of battlefield survival mean we will be responsible for many more severely wounded casualties than was the case in past conflicts. They, and their families who look after them, will need support for many years to come. It is also anticipated that welfare, medical and mental health problems, latent at this stage, will manifest themselves over the next 10 – 20 years, peaking at around the 20-25 year point.
The official welfare system, provided by the MOD and The NHS, should not be relied on as a sole source of support in the long term. The Rifles Charities need to build up funds so they can continue to play their part in conjunction with with the second line service Charities such as as the ABF and The Royal British Legion.