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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Armed forces charities in decline

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​Study shows charities serving armed forces personnel are up against tough operating conditions

Donations to armed forces charities are in decline, new figures by the Directory of Social Change (DSC) reveal.

The major study – the most comprehensive ever undertaken – shows that the number of charities serving armed forces personnel have declined by 7% over the last five years.

In addition, in 2012 the income of the majority of armed forces welfare charities declined for the first time since 2008 - during a period which saw withdrawal from Afghanistan, the restructure of the armed forces and cuts to the Ministry of Defence, NHS and other public services.

Sector Insight: UK Armed Forces Charities challenges common misconceptions held by politicians and sections of the media that there are too many armed forces charities, they are uncoordinated and they are sitting on too much money.

This is about the future of support for our brave service folk and their families. They deserve it - Debra Allcock Tyler

The total annual revenue of armed forces charities is £807 million, compared to for example the £6.4 billion revenue generated by healthcare charities, the report states.

Commenting on the project, DSC chief executive Debra Allcock Tyler said: ‘I have seen at first hand the brilliant work and crucial support provided by armed forces charities.

“We’re shining a light on them and the critical role they play by providing much needed evidence to donors, politicians and other decision makers. Our aim is that better information will lead to better policy and decision making.

“This is about the future of support for our brave service folk and their families. They deserve it.”

Despite these challenges the research shows the armed forces charitable sector has high levels of co-ordination and cooperation serving a beneficiary base of over six million current and ex-service personnel and their dependants.

Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust, Ray Lock, said: “The findings of this unique project highlight some fundamental aspects about the health and development of the military charity sector.

“Now, more than ever, the need for collaboration within (and indeed without) the sector is key to its successful future.”



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