HELP FOR Heroes has been phenomenally successful as a charity. Huge sums are routinely raised for it around the country. But now at last soldiers themselves have been sounding the alarm. As one former Royal Marine, himself a patron of the charity, pointed out last month, it seems to take its orders from the Ministry of Defence. The interests of ordinary squaddies come second.
The bulk of the money raised is earmarked for showcase facilities so that the Ministry of Defence can boast about what it is doing without having to dig into its budget. Meanwhile, ex-servicemen are having to pay themselves for decent prosthetic limbs. In fact, the only soldiers it helps are those actually in the services. Leave, and you can forget it.
So money is being raised not for ex-soldiers, but for the Ministry of Defence to build centres it should be building anyway. It’s a funny kind of charity whose purpose is to directly subsidise the government. ■