In Reply to: Being looked after posted by Brian Marjoram on Fri, Jan 26 2018 at 03:00 AM CST:
I know only too well the dedication put in by SSAFA and RBL volunteers in raising money for these charities. My wife Gillian was a caseworker for SSAFA for 15 years.
You make a very important point Brian, pointing out that SSAFA does not make any benevolence payment to veterans or serving personnel. They source the money from other charities combined the funds and make a single payment or grant known as almonisation the funds. Caseworkers are entitled to make claims for travel but these payments have to come from branch funds, not from the charity. All branches are expected to raise funds for such expenses.
I have on many occasions raised concerns about charities and how much they pay their executives. Oxfam was recently in the press for paying their chief executive £100K + as is the chairman of SSAFA. And it needs to be addressed, the general public give generously for what they believe is going to help a veteran in need and to know their contribution is lining the pocket of a retired Lt General along with other retired senior military personnel and knowing there are veterans living rough on our streets and having to turn to their Regimental Associations for help who rely purely on membership fees.
The Royal British Legion and SSAFA are intuitions run by the officer corps, jobs for the boys. During Gillianís time as a caseworker right down to its grassroots her chairman was a Lt Colonel, who had been in post for 25 years and when he passed away they shipped in a Lt Commander RN. When I was a caseworker for the RBL covering the whole of Northern and Eastern France for 23 years, financial assistance was at the point of need. I had to attend a course and regular refreshersí regularly but when I discovered how the funds within these organizations are being mishandled and I started to ask questions I was very quickly removed from my post (Chairman Pas de Calais Branch RBL) and in came a Retired Lt Colonel appointed by the central office.
If I ever pass someone in need I give freely knowing itís going to the right person. Oxfam wonít ever again get my used books and SSAFA and the RBL will get not one penny from me until they clean up their act and help those veteransí where the help is needed.
I was appointed chairman of a charity when I was a member of the Kent County Council. At my first board meeting I sacked the chief executive who was on £55K this was in 1983. I appointed a replacement on £21K. I as its chairman was paid nothing not even travelling costs. If I can do it so can they.
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