East End MP asks ‘Can you do anything to help soldiers and ex-soldiers in need?’

30 Jul 2009

John Mason, the MP for Glasgow East, has been recruited to help to find a suitable volunteer who would be interested in helping to raise money for soldiers and ex-soldiers in need.

The Army Benevolent Fund, based at Edinburgh Castle, has asked MP John Mason to try to find a suitable individual or individuals from among the public who could help the ABF to raise at least £280,000 this year, and more next year.

The Fund in Scotland is run by a self-confessed ‘one man fundraising army’, Major Roy Robertson, who formerly served with the 51st Highland Volunteers. Major Robertson will travel to meet any individuals identified who want to help and will support them in anything they want to do to raise money for the ABF.

Major Robertson said: “In Scotland the plight of the veteran is one that the Scottish Government has put at the centre of its policy, but the rate of increase in cases of individuals asking for assistance last year was 47% higher than the year before.

“Since the average length of time between a soldier leaving service and applying for assistance from the Army Benevolent Fund is an almost unbelievable 13 years, we are bracing ourselves for large numbers of applications arising from the beginning of the second Gulf War in 2003.

“There has been a large increase in the need for funding support, and due to military operations in Iran and Afghanistan, we expect even more in future years.

“All I am asking is that you cast around and find just one person who would be willing to talk to me about doing something to raise money for soldiers and ex-soldiers.”

John Mason added: “It might be that someone in our area who has served, is related to a serving soldier or former soldier – or perhaps someone with no connection to the forces whatsoever – could take on this role and make it their own. If so, I would be delighted to point them in the right direction.

“I have information leaflets from the Army Benevolent Fund available in my office at 888 Shettleston Road. In addition, I have taking the step of writing to those people who have been in touch with me that I know to have a family connection to the forces.

“The communities of the East End have provided substantial numbers of army recruits in the past, and continue to do so. As such, I am keen to do what I can to assist the ABF in their work for ex-service personnel.”


The Army benevolent Fund: This leading soldiers’ charity has provided assistance to soldiers, ex-soldiers and their dependents in time of need for 65 years. It disburses about £2.5 million each year to individual soldiers and a similar amount to support other charities looking after the needs of veteran soldiers.

The Army Benevolent Fund also welcomes donations – directly contact details are: Major Roy Robertson, telephone: 0131 310 5132 or email: scotland@armybenfund.org