Blesma + Help For Heroes - Veterans Mobility Fund
Blesma, the Limbless Veterans and Help For Heroes are delighted that our campaign for funding for veterans mobility has been successful. This vital support for our wounded veterans has been recognised at the top of Government.
The difference that appropriate and timely provision can make to injured veterans’ quality of life is hugely significant. Over the last two years, Blesma and Help for Heroes have worked tirelessly to support veterans with their specialist mobility needs and to build the case for the continuation of the Veterans Mobility Fund so that this provision is guaranteed.
It is with great relief that the UK Government will once again meet its Armed Forces Covenant commitment of ‘special consideration’ for veterans with serious physical injury resulting from their Service.
We now await more information from the Office for Veterans’ Affairs about how the additional funding will be administered but we hope to be closely involved in the process to make the funding as accessible as possible for veterans in need.
GETTING OUR VETERANS THE SUPPORT THEY DESERVE
The Veterans Mobility Fund was established in 2015 to provide enduring support for veterans who were injured during their service to the country.
This support provides physically injured veterans with highly specialist prosthetics, mobility aids and orthotics such as splints and braces that are not usually available through the Ministry of Defence or NHS.
Musculoskeletal disorder or injury is the most common cause of medical discharge from the Armed Forces. Subsequently, mobility issues are among the biggest challenges faced by our injured veterans.
The Veterans Mobility Fund was originally funded through a five-year £3 million commitment from HM Treasury LIBOR funds and administered by the Royal British Legion.
After this funding ended in 2021 Blesma and Help for Heroes submitted a joint bid for the fund to be extended by the government in order to enable our veterans injured in service to remain as independent, mobile and active as possible as they navigate their physical injuries.
The support previously provided by the Veterans Mobility Fund made a real difference to lives of those who were injured during their military service. Some we're provided with bespoke equipment that allowed them the freedom to access areas that were previously cut off to them, others we're able to repair and maintain aids that were not supported by the NHS.
The funding announced in the Spring Budget will help those injured veterans who have been left behind in terms of mobility and independance, allowing them to enjoy a better quality of life.
We are incredibly grateful for the Government’s commitment to continue providing the vital support to these individuals and believe that the provision of further funding is an important step in the right direction.
The announcement of £3 million for veterans mobility in 2023/24 is excellent news for our veterans who were injured while serving the Nation. Although we continued to provide support after the original LIBOR funds were withdrawn, we could not have replaced the Government’s support completely. The Spring Budget commitment to continue providing injured veterans with the mobility support they need is very welcome.Jon Bryant OBE, Blesma Chief Executive