For nearly 100 years the Officers’ Association (OA) have assisted former officers and their families to help them in challenging personal situations…

Last year, the OA’s Benevolence team dealt with 1,107 cases, providing welfare advice, signposting to other organisations and accessing financial support. The OA awarded £1,369,000 in grants and the team authorised 3,766 financial transactions paid to beneficiaries, charities and suppliers.

Nigel Hare, OA Head of Benevolence, said: “The OA is here to support the officer community in difficult circumstances. Our team is dedicated to providing the best possible service, and we do all we can to help.”

The OA depends on their Honorary Representatives (Hon Reps), who volunteer to provide a crucial link with beneficiaries by assessing their needs. The Hon Reps made 414 visits to people in the comfort and familiarity of their own home, across the UK and overseas.

Many Hon Reps have a personal connection to the Armed Forces, and use this experience to help understand a beneficiary’s requirements. The Hon Reps liaise with the Benevolence team in London, which organises the support required.

Grants are awarded to beneficiaries needing financial support, which can be one-off or regular payments, and quite wide-ranging, depending on the person’s needs. Regular grants can go towards the general cost of living, as well as financing care support.

The OA’s one-off payments have covered many costs, including car repairs, funeral costs, rent arrears and white goods. Last year they awarded grants to 668 people, of whom 118 live overseas in 27 different countries.

Beneficiaries’ needs can often be complex requiring the support of multiple organisations. The OA works with other charities to deliver the best possible results for beneficiaries. Over the last year, 30% of all grants paid to beneficiaries came from funds provided by other charities.