The Fire Fighters Charity, the UK’s leading provider of rehabilitation and support for the fire and rescue community, is receiving a £2 million donation boost from LIBOR fines, Chancellor George Osborne has announced.
Ken Seager, Chairman of The Fire Fighters Charity, welcomed news of the grant and thanked the Chancellor. He said: “This assistance will enable us to continue our work providing life-enhancing services and making a positive difference by supporting people in the fire and rescue community when they are in need.
“Over the years, The Fire Fighters Charity has helped thousands of individuals in the fire community by providing world-class rehabilitation and support services. We have to raise close to £9m a year to keep running, so this funding is extremely welcome.
“In spite of the hard economic times, we continue to progress and improve our services. We’ve now successfully introduced psychological services at our rehabilitation centres, and demand for our support is growing year on year, so we need to ensure sustainable funding to effectively meet the needs of our beneficiaries. This is a tremendous boost to all those who’ve risked their lives working at the frontline of public service – but we still need public and fire service donations and goodwill to help us continue our vital work.”
'Best of British values'
Every year The Fire Fighters Charity directly helps more than 4,500 people in the fire community to be fitter, healthier and happier. No other organisation provides such a full range of high-quality support, exactly tailored to the needs of firefighters.
The Chancellor has awarded the Charity a one-off grant for the 2014-15 financial year consisting of two key elements:
• £1million to support and enhance the existing provision of The Fire Fighters Charity – with a focus on supporting fire and rescue staff and volunteers with their physical needs,
• £1million endowment fund to be invested by the Charity, the income from which will then enable Ambulance and Search and Rescue personnel to access the Charity’s rehabilitation services.
In announcing the measures, Mr Osborne said: “Emergency services personnel regularly put their lives on the line to protect the most vulnerable in society, and these funds will help support both them and their families through bereavement, mental health issues and physical injuries sustained through their vital work.
"It’s only right that fines from those who’ve demonstrated the worst of values are used to support brave emergency services personnel who demonstrate the best of British values.”
The Chief Fire Officers Association also welcomed news of the donation with President Peter Dartford saying the LIBOR grant funding arrangement is a "crucial addition to the brilliant work of The Fire Fighters Charity".
He added: "Firefighting can be dangerous, stressful and traumatic. When firefighters are injured, they can be in pain and unable to work for months. Dealing with life or death situations every day often takes its toll emotionally, too. The Fire Fighters Charity helps the fire community get back on their feet after injury, illness, trauma and problems in their lives.”
The LIBOR fund has been raised through fines imposed on banks for misdemeanours and attempted manipulation of financial markets. This latest allocation builds on £35 million of LIBOR funding already given to military good causes in previous tranches, £60 million to support Armed Forces personnel, their families and veterans and a further £10 million per annum which has been earmarked from 2015 to support the Armed Forces Covenant.