The Armed Forces Fund
The wife of an army sergeant writes:
“My husband is one of the most seriously injured servicemen to survive Afghanistan and we have two daughters aged seven and five. The girls have been bullied and teased at our local school about their Dad’s condition and our family has been subjected to negative comments where we live. As a result we decided to withdraw our daughters from their school and move house. My husband and I are now looking for kind and caring schools where the girls can flourish while all of us rebuild our lives.”
The Armed Forces Fund exists to help families like this. It was set up following the loss in Afghanistan of two Old Radleians, Lieutenant Colonel Rupert Thorneloe MBE and Lieutenant Dougie Dalzell MC and following other ORs being wounded – notably Captain Harry Parker who was severely injured by an IED while serving in Helmand Province. Working in partnership with Downe House and St Mary’s Calne the AFF helps fund the education of sons and daughters of Service men and women of all ranks killed or wounded while serving their country. The boys go to Radley and the girls to either Downe House or St Mary’s.
Demand for AFF Bursary Awards
With 454 service personnel killed in Afghanistan alone (up to July 2015), there is going to be strong demand for AFF bursaries for many years to come.
Currently 14 families with 32 children have approached the Fund; 4 fathers died in service and 9 fathers and 1 mother were seriously wounded. 12 of these are from the Army and 2 from the RAF; 6 are from ‘the ranks’ and 8 are officers.
Our Fundraising Goals
With the wonderful generosity of the three schools’ communities, just over £1.9 million has been raised in support of the Fund over the last five years and this has enabled us to make five carefully means-tested bursary awards.
However, there are further applications waiting for finance and whilst every effort is being made within the Foundations of the three schools to raise funds in support of these there is still a shortfall.
Our ultimate target of £5 million will fund the education of between 5 and 15 children annually in perpetuity, depending on the size of their means-tested awards.
Please contact the Foundation Office if you would like to apply for a bursary.