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RHQ/FUSILIERS/1363 24th March 2020

COVID19, and the actions to reduce its spread and impact, are continuing to cause widespread global disruption and uncertainty. With both Battalions on operational tours overseas, additional measures are being put in place to best to support the families (and extended families) that remain behind. We are aware that a number of our Fusilier community will be, and feel, very vulnerable during these unprecedented times. RHQ has also received a number of offers of help from our community. Without being prescriptive, it is incumbent on all members of the community to look out for others - family, friends, colleagues and neighbours, to identify vulnerable and isolated people, and people that may require help, and do what they can to assist safely, including signposting them to relevant organisations, both locally and nationally.

Many Fusiliers will know of elderly, infirm or vulnerable people in their immediate location, regardless of whether they are military veterans. We encourage all Fusiliers to do what they can to support them, either in person if safe to do so, or remotely via whatever means is available.

For all UK Veterans in hardship and need, the Soldiers, Sailors and Air Force Association (SSAFA) and the Royal British Legion (RBL) are operating as near normal as possible. These organisations have robust procedures in place to handle urgent and immediate cases and provide the correct level of assistance.

SSAFA https://www.ssafa.org.uk/ Telephone 0800 731 4880
RBL https://www.britishlegion.org.uk/get-support/ Telephone 0808 802 8080

These organisations are resourced and prepared to operate on a 24-hour basis and remain the first point of call for all assistance requests. Requests for assistance to SSAFA and RBL will now not involve a face to face or home visit while the current emergency measures are in place. However, the casework that all charities need to make a decision about can still be completed remotely.

General and welfare support for all UK Veterans is available from the UK Veterans Service and they can be contacted between 0800hrs and 1600hrs.

VETERANS UK: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/veterans-uk-contact-us#veterans-uk-helpline Telephone: 0808 1914 218

When the helpline is closed/limited due to COVID-19 restrictions, callers in need of immediate emotional support will be given the option to be routed to The Samaritans 24 hour helpline.

The Samaritans: https://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help/contact-samaritan/ 24 hour helpline - The Samaritans. Telephone: 116 123

RHQ, operating remotely, will try to coordinate non urgent assistance utilising the Fusiliers Association network. Please contact rhq@thefusiliers.org or 0203 166 6909. RHQ remains staffed (at the moment) 0930-1400hrs Monday to Friday.

The Fusiliers Aid Society (FAS) for serving and former members of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers and their antecedent Regiments is operating normally. The FAS staff are working from home and aim to provide an as near normal service as possible.

Colonel (Retd) J W Denny MBE
Regimental Secretary

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