Every year The Rifles Benevolent Trust assists many serving and ex-serving members of The Rifles, their spouses, partners, widows or other dependents who find themselves in need of assistance. In 2016 The Rifles responded to 534 applications providing grants totaling approximately £312,000.
Types of Assistance
Assistance will usually be given in one of the following forms:
In all cases there must be genuine hardship brought about through circumstances and not by the individual’s own design.
Veterans: Where to go for help and advice
If you feel that you are in need of help or advice then you should firstly contact SSAFA or The Royal British Legion (TRBL). Both organisations have a network of local branches, which means that help and advice is always close at hand. When contacting SSAFA or TRBL they will put you in touch with one of their experienced advisors. Where further assistance is required a caseworker will be appointed who will visit you in your home or at a suitable location.
Working together with the caseworker, you will need to complete a Form A; this provides some basic information about yourself and your current circumstances. The caseworker will then distribute the completed Form A on your behalf to the relevant organisations/regiments to request assistance;
The Regiment/Organisation will respond directly to the caseworker. Please be aware that neither the Organisations or Regiments involved are able to deal directly with individuals.
SSAFA Forcesline is a free, 100% confidential helpline that is completely independent of the military chain of command. Their experienced civilian staff provide a supportive, listening and signposting service for serving personnel and their families, as well as former members of the Armed Forces.
SSAFA Forcesline 0800 731 4880 (Freephone)
Serving Soldiers: Where to go for help and advice
If you feel that you are in need of help or advice then you should contact your Unit Welfare Officer (UWO) who will provide confidential welfare support and advice to Riflemen and their families.
The UWO is there to:
Assist Riflemen and their families to settle in to their new surroundings
Provide confidential advice and guidance
Support families and individuals during periods of separation
Liaise with the following organisations
Army Welfare Service
Defence housing Executive
Local Housing Associations
UK Social Welfare Agencies
Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB)
Child Support Agency (CSA)
In addition to the above agencies the UWO also liaises with The Rifles RHQ in Winchester, who can assist with grants for those serving personnel who are suffering hardship or distress.
Request for Assistance
Applications should be made through the UWO. The UWO will complete a RIFLES Quick Reaction Fund (QRF) form which is passed to the Commanding Officer for his recommendation. Once approved the QRF Form will be passed to The Head of Welfare and Benevolence for action.
In emergencies the UWO can make an application by phone to the Head of Welfare and Benevolence who can authorise immediate expenditure however a report must follow as soon as possible.