Charity issues

Remembrance Day : 11 hour challenge to support Red Cross and Royal British Legion

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Joseph Chivayo , a young man from Zimbabwe, now living in Derby, decided to commit himself to a punishing workout on the 11th November 2015. For 11 hours, 11 minutes and 11 seconds he was running, walking, running and walking at the Pure Gym in Derby as part of his volunteering commitment to the British Red Cross, and the Royal British Legion. Whilst his objective was to raise at least £1111.11, he wants to increase the on-going awareness and knowledge of the excellent work of these 2 organisations,  both of whom have significant presences in Derby.

This is his fundraising page CLICK HERE

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For Joseph, 11 hours of sweat, and pain was nothing compared to the commitment, dedication and life-long struggles given by many service personnel. He also sees it as part of the “..continued process of understanding my role and responsibilities as a citizen, and not taking the freedom and life we enjoy today for granted”.

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In support of Joseph’s cause , I thought it would be opportune to detail some of the, perhaps, less well-known aspects of the work that these organisations do – all of which are delivered through their Derby offices.

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The Royal British Legion is well known for the Poppy Appeal and leading the way on Remembrance activities on November 11th, but it has many other dimensions to it, all with one focussed objective –  “to help members of the Royal Navy, British Army, Royal Air Force, Reservists, veterans and their families all year round”.

For Veterans and their families. (link)

They provide a service called Admiral Nurses who support members who have Dementia.

The Legion has 6 care homes throughout the country.

There is also support with Finance advice, Housing adaptations, Mobility aids and Break Centres.

For serving members. (link)

Help is provided with finances, Jobs and Careers after service, various recovery programmes, and holiday break support.

The Legion also gets involved in campaigning  to ensure that the special issues relating to service personnel are always highlighted, recognised and acted upon.

Asbestos related cancer and the Military (link)

Due to current compensation rules, veterans who develop Mesothelioma from working with asbestos during Service can be left £150,000 worse off than their civilian contemporaries. This is unfair and has to change!

Insult to Injury (link)

Veterans injured during Service have most of their compensation taken to cover the cost of their social care. Military compensation is awarded as recompense for the pain and suffering experienced by injured Service personnel and veterans; it should not be treated as normal income

MANIFESTO 2015 (link)

In advance of the 2015 General Election, the Legion produced its own manifesto entitled ‘Building a better future for our Armed Forces community’. Aimed mainly at Westminster-based politicians, the document outlined the key actions that the government should take to improve the health, finances and wellbeing of Service personnel, veterans, and their families.

UK ex-Service Household Survey 2014 (link)

In November 2014, the Legion published the results of the most comprehensive survey into the needs of the ex-Service community that had been undertaken in ten years

Report  on UK Veterans and Homelessness (link)

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Volunteering is an important part of the organisation. Joseph is an Information Volunteer at the St Peter’s street branch ( opposite Tesco). The main aim is to provide information and support for people who attend the Pop-In Centres. Additionally, there are case workers,  who meet with people and assess whether they qualify for Legion support. There are other opportunities for visiting veterans, or volunteering in care homes.

Any service personnel, current, or veteran, and/or their families who feel that they have any issues in anyway relating to their time in the armed forces, can go to the Pop-In Centre in Derby, and discuss their concerns with the team there. They will either be able to provide direct help, or “signpost” to appropriate agencies.

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The British Red Cross is well known for it support of First Aid, and emergency crises response. It has a permanent presence in Derby, on Liversage Street, and pays a major role in the city’s support for Asylum Seekers and other people in crisis. As Derby is a dispersal City ( i.e. asylum seekers are housed in Derby pending their hearings to decide whether they gain refugee status), then it is important that there is an infrastructure that supports the many and varied needs that people in these vulnerable situations have. The British Red Cross is an integral part of this.

Help offered by the British Red Cross in Derby to this population,  includes:

Destitution and orientation support

Food/ clothing and furniture referrals

Travel costs related to the asylum claim

Form filling, sign-posting

Mentoring and be-friending

Family re-union, and international tracing and messaging

In addition to providing active support for independent living needs for those in the health and social care system, the British Red Cross advocates on the broader subject to ensure that the legal frameworks are in place,  that they are properly implemented and a keen focus is maintained on preventative measures as a progressive approach for the future.

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People like Joseph are always encouraged to volunteer for the British Red Cross and plenty of opportunities exist in Derby and Derbyshire

Joseph does not want his challenge to be something that just lasts for one day in the year, albeit that the vehicle of Remembrance Day does help with gaining visibility. Whilst money for many can be scarce, the gift of time in volunteering is a very valuable alternative and both of these organisations depend on such help to actually deliver their services.

This is his fundraising page CLICK HERE

Please share this post with anyone you know who might benefit from these 2 charities. Thanks

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