Veterans Aid

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Veterans Aid is a UK charity providing support to ex-servicemen and women (Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Army, RAF or Merchant Navy).

It operates from two locations: a Drop-in Centre/Head Office in Central London (Victoria) and a residential home (New Belvedere House) in East London (Stepney).

The charity's core business is averting and/or addressing crisis, particularly where it threatens to lead to homelessness.

Veterans Aid
  • 27 Victoria Square, London SW1W 0RB


Veterans Aid was established in 1932 (designated originally as EFC – The Embankment Fellowship Centre) as a direct response to the homelessness caused by poverty and unemployment among the ex-service community in London.

It was founded by Mrs Gwendoline Huggins, whose husband was Adjutant of The Royal Hospital Chelsea from 1932–35.[1] Deeply moved by the sight of men who had served their country sleeping on the capital’s streets and along the Thames Embankment, she decided to do something practical to remedy it. This led to the opening in January 1932 of H10, a canteen and recreation room for destitute ex-services personnel in Lambeth, South London.[2]

In 2007 the charity was renamed Veterans Aid, and its remit extended from homelessness to all issues affecting veterans in crisis.[3]

Main activities[edit]

In general terms, all the charity’s activities revolve around helping ex-servicemen and women in crisis. Specifically it deals with all the factors that contribute to crisis, especially those leading to homelessness. Because homelessness is considered both a cause and an effect of dysfunction VA's activities are diverse. The charity's aim is to restore veterans in crisis to a point where they can sustain productive, independent living.

Veterans Aid's interventions are rapid and practical. In terms of rough sleeping its commitment is to 'No First Night Out'. The charity will provide food, new clothing and safe accommodation immediately to those seeking, and qualifying for, its help.

Subsequent interventions can include counselling, addiction treatment and rehabilitation, debt management and, where appropriate, access to education, retraining or the acquisition of a new skill. Help is given to identify employment opportunities and, when veterans are considered ready, help is provided to source appropriately decorated and furnished homes.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "War artist's cartoon resurrected by Veterans Aid in WW1 centenary year". Veterans Aid. 2014-12-15. Retrieved 2017-01-05.
  2. ^ Veterans Aid History Archived October 5, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "History - Veterans Aid". Veterans Aid. Retrieved 2017-01-05.
  4. ^ "What we do - Veterans Aid". Veterans Aid. Retrieved 2017-01-05.