Benevolence

The REME Charity exists to help the whole REME family, on the day you joined the REME you became a member of the family and you will remain a member for the rest of your life.

We seek to support all members of the REME and their families as best we can, whether you are regular, reserve or retired.  The REME Charity commits at least one third of their annual budget to aid in the benevolence of the REME family.  Further information can be found on this page, if you wish for any additional information please contact us.

“We like to think we provide a hand up, not a hand out” – Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Mike Tizard, Corps Secretary

About

The REME Charity is a grant giving charity and we are dedicated to committing at least a third of our annual budget to the benevolence of the REME family. We all hope that members of our family won’t suffer hardship, however, hardship can hit us all.

The REME Charity’s objectives are varied and wide ranging.  If you find yourself in hardship please SSAFA or the Royal British Legion who will begin processing your case.  If you wish to talk to someone in The REME Charity please contact us and we will be happy to help.

Grants

In 2016 The REME Charity gave £186,398.55 to 370 benevolence cases in support of serving REME soldiers and officers, veterans and their families; this was an average grant of £503.78.

The REME Charity also donated £85,000 to The ABF: The Soldiers’ Charity in 2016.  The ABF provides invaluable support to soldier and other organisations that assist The REME Family.

This is a total of £271,398.55 spent on benevolence in 2016.

Eligibility

The REME Charity aims to help all in need, however funds are not unlimited.  To qualify for support you must have served for at least one year in the Regular Army or at least three years in the Reserves (TA). However, we do assess every case on merit so please contact us if you need more information.

Casework

Unfortunately, our staff in Regimental Headquarters are unable to complete casework.  SSAFA: The Armed Forces Charity and The Royal British Legion complete the majority of our casework on our behalf.  Please contact them for more information.

Testimonials

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(Letter received by The Welfare Team – March 2017)

Dear Bev,

I am writing to you this brief not, in order to offer my personal thanks for all the work you and the Corps Welfare Team do to support REME Soldiers.  Since I have been in command at the King’s Royal Hussars, you have supported us on five separate occasions ranging from house fire damages, to a wreath to remember a KRH LAD soldier who had passed away several years ago.

Whilst in each case we were supported monetarily, the compassion and engagement shown by all of the team is undeniable and as an Officer who is responsible for the welfare of over 70 soldiers, knowing that I have the Corps’ support during challenging circumstances is of huge value to me.

In each of the cases above, I have been thanked by the individuals for my assistance, but I feel fraudulent in receiving those thanks, as it is your hard work that really makes the difference and I hope that this letter goes someway to addressing that balance.

Thank you again for all of the Corps Welfare Team’s incredible support; it makes me absolutely proud to be part of the REME Family.

Yours,

H R Winterbourne

Capt

OC LAD KRH

Hannah Winterbourne
Hannah WinterbourneCaptain

(Letter received by The REME Charity Welfare Team – December 2016)

Alan and Olive Ward would sincerely like to thank you for your kind donation of £665.00 for the adaptation of the bathroom into a wet room.

It has made a world of difference to Alan, as we are now able to use a wheelchair for showering which helps to relieve him from the stress due to his disability caused by Motor Neurone Disease.

Thank you once again for your help it was very much appreciated.

Yours truly,

Olive Ward

Mr and Mrs Ward
Mr and Mrs Ward

(Letter received by The REME Charity Welfare Team – October 2015)

Dear Sir, Madam,

I want to thank The REME Charity (The REME Benevolent Fund) for the generous contribution via SSAFA towards the installation of a stair lift for my husband – Tony Swift and myself.

Without this funding, Tony would have remained a prisoner in his bedroom as we were unable to carry him down the stairs all the time.  It has made a great deal of difference to his life, even though with his dementia and other complex medical issues he doesn’t realise it, the fact is, my life is a lot better for it.  Thank you so much for your help.

Thanking you once again.

Yours faithfully

Mrs C.M Swift

Mr and Mrs Swift
Mr and Mrs Swift

After missing the death of my father who died suddenly in Zimbabwe I found myself overwhelmed with grief; having to return home to orchestrate the funeral arrangements and deal with the loss of a man who shaped the way I have grown up.

Leaving my children and wife in England, I dropped everything and embarked on the torturous journey.  I rapidly found myself solving the majority of the arrangements by opening my wallet and watching the money fly out.

Only after returning to England and trying to resume a normal life did I consider approaching The REME Charity.  My Welfare Officer suggested I did so and I cannot praise them enough.  In providing the financial justification I finally realised how brutally expensive the whole episode was.  Being the sole wage earner for a young family and having gone into debt I cannot offer enough praise and gratitude to both The REME Charity and the ABF: The Soldiers Charity.  The financial assistance they provided paid for the flights; I am humbled by the unquestioning support I received.  By paying one day’s pay into The REME Charity you are entitled to support at your time of need and I cannot thank both organisations enough for their assistance.

Roderick Bate
Roderick BateCaptain

In October 2014 I was injured and diagnosed as needing double hip replacements, since July 2015 I have been on long term sick leave and the date for my medical discharge is 22 March 2017.  I have also been suffering from PTSD and it has been an absolute struggle to cope with day to day life whilst being on sick leave and away from the unit I was attached to.  The PRU in Catterick have been absolutely fantastic and I couldn’t ask for more.  I have been on a work placement with Volkswagen commercial vehicles in Teesside since the start of January; and have a permanent contract that starts the day I leave the Army.  Volkswagen are aware of my background and the injuries I sustained and have been fantastic with me; it is a relief that I no longer have to worry about securing a job when I leave the Army.  Whilst securing a job was a challenge and a relief I needed to purchase a tool box that would enable me to do the job; this was unaffordable to me, so I approached SSAFA who completed my case work with sensitivity and approached The REME Charity (previously known as The REME Benevolent Fund) to help fund the toolbox I desperately needed.  I would like to thank every current and past REME soldier and officer who gives a days pay to The REME Charity and everyone who fundraises for The REME Charity I am touched that you helped me.

After 17 years in the Army this is a massive change for me; I don’t know what lies ahead for the future but one thing I do know is that I will miss the camaraderie and banter of the Army.  I am so grateful for all your help, best wishes for the future.

Heath Page
Heath PageSergeant

By way of introduction, my name is WO2 (AQMS) ‘Midge’ Midgley.  I have been a member of the REME for almost 19 years now.  At the young age of 16, during my first week in the Army we were all asked to donate a small percentage (one day’s pay) of our wages to The REME Charity (previously known as The REME Central Charitable Trust).  Not fully understanding what this was and the assistance it provides I begrudgingly agreed.

I am currently married to Gemma and have been for 8 years, we have a 4 year old son called Heston who is the most precious thing in our world.  Nearly 2 years ago we notice that Heston was developing slower in some areas such as speech and social play than his peers.  This led to a number of assessments that went on for almost a year.

The results of the assessments led to a diagnosis of autism.  If you have seen films such as ‘Rain Man’ or ‘The Accountant’ with Ben Affleck you may have a small insight to some of the autistic traits that are found on the spectrum.  Heston is only 4 so we still do not know if he possess the ‘high functioning’ autistic traits such as counting cards at poker (Rain Man) or an exceptional eye for detail and planning for assassinations (The Accountant).  What we do know is that he is 4 and still non-verbal.

Having a 4 year old that is non-verbal comes with other issues; it is extremely challenging to teach him anything and everything, including toilet training!  Gemma and my biggest achievement this year to date is getting Heston to have a poo on the toilet!

Autistic children require routine with everything.  The find it extremely hard to cope with change.  To this end, and for me to continue in the REME, Gemma and I had to make the hard decision to go ‘unaccompanied’ and buy our own home in order to provide Heston the much needed stability and routine of not moving every two years (assignments) and to have continuity with schooling and his social circle.

Gemma has had to give up work and be Heston’s carer.  Heston requires one-to-one all the time, including nursery and school when he starts in September.  All this coupled with other issues I have not had time or space to mention all of this comes with a huge financial burden; with a huge amount of stress and worry.  The REME Charity has been there to assist in a number of ways that Gemma, Heston and I are extremely grateful for.

There is a private company (Brain Wave) that assist in speech therapy.  This comes at a cost.  With our finances already stretched with Gemma being forced to give up work, buying a new home, installing a sensory room and all the other financial commitments this treatment was well out of reach.  I contacted Bev at The REME Charity to seek financial assistance with the cost of this treatment, Bev and The REME Charity: Grants Committee approved my request for financial assistance and paid for the treatment.  We have already had one set of therapy with the second scheduled over Easter leave.  Already there is a huge difference, Heston is able to communicate basic needs in the form of a picture book (PECS).  This may sound medieval and simple, but believe me when you have a 4 year old going absolutely crazy because he wants something but he can’t tell you what, this basic new found form of communication is extremely welcomed!

Gemma, Heston and I are so grateful to Bev, Colonel Phillips, The REME Charity and all of the members of the Corps for donating a small amount of their wages to The REME Charity and assisting our little boy to be able to speak.  Hopefully one day he will scream ‘daddy, daddy, daddy’ when I come home from work!

Hedley Midgley
Hedley MidgleyWO2 (AQMS)

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