Veterans Aid


Veterans Aid through the years – see VA’s Timeline for more past, present and future events:

1931 December: Advertisement placed by Mrs Huggins* in The Times.

The advert didn’t attract any benefactors, but on 14 December 1931, Mrs Huggins received a letter from the Ministry of Works offering to let 59a, Belvedere Road for three months – at a rental of £1.

*A lucky escape in the Grand Harbour at Valletta, Malta, in 1924 led to the founding of the charity H10, now known as Veterans Aid. See more here.

1932 Our first home – a canteen and a recreational room for destitute ex-servicemen, called H10 opened at 59a Belvedere Road, Embankment.

1933 Initially known as H10, the charity name was changed to The Embankment Fellowship Centre (EFC).

1936 The audited cost of providing residents with three meals a day was just over £0.07 (7d pre-decimalisation).

1939 The film “SMITH” was made for the Embankment Fellowship Centre – now Veterans Aid. The idea was to raise awareness of the work that the charity undertook together with fundraising.

1951 The first TV set – September 1951, gratefully received from HMS Glasgow.

1954 Broadcast Appeal by actress (later Dame) Cicely Courtneidge realised £660. She visited Belvedere House hostel and joined men in a game of snooker.

1962 Actress (later Dame) Anna Neagle endorsed the EFC with a supporting thank you letter.

1973 HRH Princess Alexandra performed the official opening ceremony at New Belvedere House hostel.

1990 A saving of £6,000 on laundry was achieved at HH due to of the purchase of a washing machine.

1992 The purchase of a computer and printer for the headquarters was approved.

2007 The name of the charity was changed to “Veterans Aid” in order to reflect more accurately the nature of the work done. 

2007 HRH The Prince of Wales visited Veterans Aid’s flagship hostel New Belvedere House.

2011 Veterans Aid won the prestigious Institute for Turnaround Award.

2011 HRH The Duke of Kent made a private visit to Veterans Aid’s New Belvedere House hostel.

2014 November: War Requiem Concert at Royal Albert Hall for Veterans Aid marked centenary of WW1.

2014 ESI campaign support from: Prince William, David Cameron, Nick Clegg, Ed Miliband, Boris Johnson, David Beckham, Stephen Fry, James Blunt and the Archbishop of Canterbury.

2014 November: The Centre for Social Justice commended VA’s model ‘moving from welfare to well-being’.

2015 Redevelopment of New Belvedere House hostel began.

2016 Former Veterans Aid employee, Lady Amelia Windsor, made the cover of Tatler.

2016 June: Veterans Aid Completes First Stage of Hostel Refurbishment with Bloomberg’s Support.

2016 June: HRH The Duke of Edinburgh visited Veterans Aid’s New Belvedere House hostel.

2016 October: Veterans Aid received £110,000 from RBLACT.

Veterans Aid received a valedictory donation of £110,000 from The Royal British Legion Attendants Company (RBLACT). The transfer marked the end of a chapter for RBLACT, but an investment in the continuation of its aims and objectives.

2016 October: D-Day veteran visited friends at VA.

93 -year old D-Day Landings veteran George Skipper was given a warm welcome when he visited his friends at Veterans Aid accompanied by fellow In-Pensioner Steve Lovelock.

2016 November: Five box clever to support Veterans Aid.

Five ex-servicemen and former NBH resident took part in a charity boxing match to raise funds for Veterans Aid, the charity that once turned their lives around.

2016 November: Foxtons launched fundraising campaign across its UK stores to increase awareness of Veterans Aid.

2016 November: HRH The Duke of Edinburgh attended Veterans Aid reception.

His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh attended an informal reception at the Guards Museum hosted by Veterans Aid.

2016 November: Country Food Trust partnered with Veterans Aid to provide wholesome food.

The Country Food Trust has partnered with Veterans Aid in a bid to introduce wholesome and quick-to-prepare meals to its New Belvedere House residents.

2016 November: Veterans Aid received £500,000 from LIBOR.

Veterans Aid received £500,000 from LIBOR towards the cost of refurbishing New Belvedere House.

2016 December: Veterans Aid partnered with Westminster City Council to tackle rough sleeping.

Westminster was the first London borough to partner with Veterans Aid to tackle rough sleeping. The partnership aims to make sure that no ex-serviceman or woman ever has to resort to bedding down on the street.

2017 January: Veterans Aid took part in Westminster Community Engagement Event.

Metropolitan Police and local homelessness charities, including Veterans Aid, hosted a Community Engagement Event on Westminster Cathedral Piazza.

2017 February: Top soprano sang for Veterans Aid.

Veterans Aid was once again the beneficiary of a concert at the Army & Navy Club featuring renowned mezzo-soprano Fiona Kimm.

2017 April: Veterans Aid shortlisted for Social Impact Award.

VA was shortlisted for Social Impact Award at Asian Awards 2017 powered by Charity Clarity.

2017 May: VA team joined FEANTSA in Gdansk for its Annual Policy Conference.

Over 350 people from the homeless sector and beyond gathered in the historic European Solidarity Centre in Gdansk, Poland for the FEANTSA Annual Policy Conference, co-organised with St Brother Albert’s Aid Society and the City of Gdansk, to discuss how to end the current homelessness crisis in the European Union.

2017 June: Essex builders commissioned to complete final phase of NBH redevelopment.

Specialist contractors Blackmoor Knight Ltd, from Essex, have been commissioned by Veterans Aid to complete the final phase of redevelopment of the charity’s flagship residence, New Belvedere House.

2017 August: New academic role for Veterans Aid CEO.

CEO of Veterans Aid Dr Hugh Milroy has been appointed Visiting Senior Lecturer in the Department of Psychological Medicine at King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN).

2017 October: Canadian Veterans Ombudsman visited Veterans Aid.

Veterans Aid welcomed Canada’s Veterans Ombudsman Guy Parent. On October 11th two men with a shared commitment to veterans’ wellbeing renewed an acquaintance that began with a trip to Canada in 2010 by Dr Hugh Milroy, CEO of Veterans Aid.

2017 November: Veterans Aid partnered with Ruskin College.

Veterans Aid and Ruskin College partnership placed veterans on path to further education.

2017 December: Veterans Aid moved to new home.

Veterans Aid’s Head Office/Operations Centre moved to 27 Victoria Square, SW1W 0RB, just yards away from its old premises. Number 27 is the latest in a series of properties that have provided a base for the charity’s activities during its 85-year-history.

2018 January: VA became BFBS Big Salute charity for 11th year.

Veterans Aid is proud to have once again had its work acknowledged by the BFBS Big Salute, the annual campaign that raises vital funds for armed forces charities.

CEO Dr Hugh Milroy said, “As ever we are delighted to be receiving this vital funding from BFBS whose support in bringing our services to the attention of a larger audience we value immensely. It represents a great start to 2018 and our first year in our new HQ/Operations Centre.”

2018 March: NBH training kitchen used for first time.

The Royal Logistic Corps (RLC) Chefs cooked up a masterclass for Veterans Aid. Three RLC Chefs, attached to 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards from HQ London District, travelled to the newly refurbished Veterans Aid hostel, New Belvedere House, in Stepney where they christened its state of the art training kitchen by teaching residents how to prepare, cook and serve nourishing meals.

2018 April: Veterans Aid hosted US exchange visitor.

Veterans Aid hosted Tramecia Garner, Associate Director for Housing & Residential Programs at US charity Swords to Plowshares, as part of the Transatlantic Partnership Exchange.

2018 May: VA CEO was RAF Centenary speaker.

Veterans Aid CEO Dr Hugh Milroy was Royal Air Force Centenary speaker at an event held at RAF’s church, St Clement Danes.

2018 May: American veterans charity applauded VA model.

Tramecia Garner, Associate Director for Housing & Residential Programs at US charity Swords to Plowshares, said: ‘Veterans Aid has a model we can look to for a way of doing business that works.’

2018 June: Veterans Aid hosted visitors from the University of Georgia.

American academic Dr Melissa Landers-Potts became the latest in a string of international experts to visit Veterans Aid. Dr Potts, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Human Development and Family Science (FACS) at the University of Georgia (UGA), was accompanied by students who are in London as part of the Program.

They spent a morning with CEO of Veterans Aid Dr Hugh Milroy learning about the charity’s unique Welfare to Wellbeing© model, first introduced by him in Professor Jay Mancini’s book Pathways to Human Development.

2018 August: The Tweed Challenge raised £44k for Veterans Aid.

Two extraordinary fundraisers completed a 97-mile navigation of the River Tweed that raised £44k.

2018 September: London Mayor opened Veterans Aid’s £8.2M residential facility.

A four-year, £8.2m project to create a flagship facility for veterans in crisis was unveiled on September 7th when Mayor of London Sadiq Khan formally opened Veterans Aid’s New Belvedere House.

2018 September: Auction of portraits at Cavalry & Guards Club raised £41k for Veterans Aid.

An auction of works by royal portrait artist Alexander Talbot Rice raised more than £41k after an exclusive event at the Cavalry and Guards Club.

2018 November: The Armistice Ghost.

Veterans Aid was proud to present a video featuring The Armistice Ghost, a moving centennial poem written and read by British Army musician Colour Sergeant Darren Hardy, Band of the Coldstream Guards and dedicated to the charity.

2019 January: Pro Bono Economics report illustrates value of VA’s work.

Veterans Aid interventions to tackle homelessness have been shown to generate significant benefits – both for beneficiaries of support and for wider society, according to a new report from the charity Pro Bono Economics.

2019 January: Police officers praise VA’s work.

Two Police Now officers who spent time with Veterans Aid have praised the charity for its commitment and effectiveness.

2019 February: Prestige photography exhibition puts focus on Veterans Aid.

Veterans Aid has been selected as the 2019 beneficiary of 24Photography’s 16th Anniversary auction of prestigious prints.

2019 March: Taiwanese honour for Veterans Aid.

Veterans Aid CEO Dr Hugh Milroy was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation by Deputy Minister Wen-Chung Lee of the Veterans Affairs Council R.O.C. in recognition of his commitment to improving mutual understanding of veterans’ affairs.

2019 March: Getting Sorted Out in East London: Vulnerability and Resilience of Homeless Ex-Servicemen.

An academic paper co-authored by Veterans Aid CEO Dr Hugh Milroy was published in FEANTSA’s European Journal of Homelessness.

2019 April: Lake Baikal challenge puts Veterans Aid on the map.

Two renowned explorers who walked and skied hundreds of kilometres to break records and support an ex-service charity returned home in triumph after flying the flag for Veterans Aid in the icy heart of Eastern Russia.

Rosie Stancer and Mike Laird’s The Long Haul expedition took them across the frozen surface of Lake Baikal, the world’s largest, deepest and oldest freshwater lake.

2019 May: The Gym Group donates fitness equipment to Veterans Aid.

State of the art professional gym equipment, donated by The Gym Group, is giving ex-servicemen living at VA’s newly refurbished residential facility (New Belvedere House) a head start in the fitness stakes.

2019 June: Beating Retreat 2019

Thousands of spectators saw a film showcasing the transformational work of Veterans Aid when it was screened at The Household Division’s annual Beating Retreat.

2019 June: Birthday honour for Veterans Aid volunteer

Veterans Aid volunteer and former Coldstream Guards musician Darren Hardy has been awarded a Meritorious Service Medal (MSM) in The Queen’s Birthday Honours.

2019 July: World Veterans Federation welcomes Veterans Aid

Veterans Aid has been admitted to membership of the World Veterans Federation, an association of 172 veterans’ organisations from 121 countries that represents around 45 million veterans worldwide.

2019 July: Veterans Aid in partnership with Amazon

Amazon formed a partnership with Veterans Aid. It is a relationship that focuses on awareness initiatives, recruitment, fundraising, food redistribution and donations. Amazon customers can support the work of Veterans Aid immediately through the Amazon Smile programme and learn more about the partnership as it develops.