North Devon’s The Veterans Charity has received £24,000 in extra funding as part of a £6million government support package.

Danny Greeno, CEO of The Veterans Charity with Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry Veteran Reg Charles at Weston Armed Forces Day.Danny Greeno, CEO of The Veterans Charity with Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry Veteran Reg Charles at Weston Armed Forces Day.

The money comes via the Office for Veterans’ Affairs (OVA) and the Ministry of Defence and is aimed at supporting serving personnel, veterans and their families during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Barnstaple-based charity has continued to support people throughout the pandemic and the extra funding will help to meet the increased demand for its service.

Chief executive Danny Greeno said the funding was ‘vital’ to ensure they could continue to support veterans and their families, but was also recognition for the work of the charity.

He said: “The Coronavirus pandemic has forced the loss of all of our public fundraising opportunities but thanks to great support including this grant, we are able to meet the huge rise in demand from Veterans who sadly find themselves in hardship.

The Forces March is one of the annual fundraisers for The Veterans Charity, which was unable to happen in 2020. Picture: George SladeThe Forces March is one of the annual fundraisers for The Veterans Charity, which was unable to happen in 2020. Picture: George Slade

“We have seen a huge rise in support requests and referrals from other organisations and have delivered rapid support to almost 400 Veterans already this year.

“Support like that of the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust is therefore extremely important to us and will have a terrific impact on the work we do.”

North Devon MP Selaine Saxby said: “I am delighted The Veteran’s Charity has been awarded this extra support from the Government. It is a testament to the important work they do to support ex-servicemen and women in North Devon and beyond.

“As the self-styled, ‘rapid reaction force of military charities’ the charity has been a lifeline for many during this pandemic, providing everything from collecting and delivering shopping to smart meter top ups to support those who are in isolation or are facing hardship.

“This funding will go a long way and shows the Government’s commitment to supporting veterans and our world-class service personnel.”

As part of the government’s commitment to supporting service personnel throughout their military and civilian lives, next month a consultation will also be launched on employers paying no National Insurance contributions on the salary of any veteran they take on during their first year of civilian employment.