Veterans Aid

History

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).

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.

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 residence, 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.

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 Veterans Aid’s model ‘moving from welfare to well-being’.

2015 Redevelopment of New Belvedere House began.

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

2016 June: Veterans Aid completes first stage of New Belvedere House refurbishment with Bloomberg’s Support.

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

2016 October: Veterans Aid received £110,000 from The Royal British Legion Attendants Company (RBLACT).

2016 October: 93 -year old D-Day Landings veteran George Skipper visited friends at Veterans Aid.

2016 November: Five ex-servicemen and former New Belvedere House residents took part in a charity boxing match to raise funds for Veterans Aid

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

2016 November: His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh attended an informal reception at the Guards Museum hosted by Veterans Aid.

2016 November: 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 towards the cost of refurbishing New Belvedere House.

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

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

2017 February: Top mezzo-soprano Fiona Kimm sang for Veterans Aid at the Army & Navy Club.

2017 April: Veterans Aid was shortlisted for Social Impact Award.

2017 May: VA team joined FEANTSA in Gdansk for its Annual Policy Conference to discuss how to end the current homelessness crisis in the European Union.

2017 June: Specialist contractors Blackmoor Knight Ltd, from Essex, have been commissioned by Veterans Aid to complete the final phase of New Belvedere House redevelopment.

2017 August: 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 Guy Parent visited Veterans Aid.

2017 November: Veterans Aid and Ruskin College partnership placed veterans on path to further education.

2017 December: Veterans Aid’s Head Office/Operations Centre moved to 27 Victoria Square, SW1W 0RB, just yards away from its old premises.

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

2018 March: The Royal Logistic Corps (RLC) Chefs christened New Belvedere House state of the art training kitchen by teaching residents how to prepare, cook and serve nourishing meals.

2018 April: 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: 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: 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 (UGA).

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

2018 September: Mayor of London Sadiq Khan formally opened Veterans Aid’s £8.2m residential facility for veteran in crisis, New Belvedere House.

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

2018 November: The Armistice Ghost, a moving centennial poem written and read by British Army musician Colour Sergeant Darren Hardy, Band of the Coldstream Guards, was dedicated to Veterans Aid.

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

2019 January: 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.

2019 March: 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: An academic paper co-authored by Veterans Aid CEO Dr Hugh Milroy was published in FEANTSA’s European Journal of Homelessness.

2019 April: Two renowned explorers walked and skied hundreds of kilometres across the frozen surface of Lake Baikal to break records and support Veterans Aid. 

2019 May: 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: 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: 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: 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: Amazon formed a partnership with Veterans Aid. It is a relationship that focuses on awareness initiatives, recruitment, fundraising, food redistribution and donations.

2019 October: Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier appointed as a new Veterans Aid’s Trustee.

2020 January: £250,000 awarded to Veterans Aid by The National Lottery Community Fund.