With a history going back to 1898, the Forces Welfare Fund as currently constituted came into being in 1985. Its charitable object is declared as “promoting the spiritual and moral welfare of, and providing such other charitable benefits as the Managing Trustees from time to time decide, for Her Majesty’s Forces within the Diocese of Salisbury and their dependants”.
For over 125 years the Forces Welfare Fund has demonstrated the commitment of the Church to the welfare of the members of HM Armed Forces within the Diocese, following the Church’s example in other fields such as education and youth work. The Forces Welfare Fund does not depend on fund-raising but contributes to the welfare of the Forces by distributing the income from its investments which derive from the foresight of those who served the Fund in years gone by.
With approximately £1.25 million in investments and an annual dispersible income of about £40,000, the Trustees now meet in April and October in each year to consider bids for grants towards welfare projects that come not only from Army units on Salisbury Plain and Bovington but also the Royal Marines at Poole and the RAF at Boscombe Down as well as other Services related projects from elsewhere within the Diocese. Serving military and their dependents remain the primary focus, however the introduction of the Military Covenant also enables veterans’ causes to be considered.
Local agents, in the form of military chaplains and also organisations such as the WRVS, who best understand the needs in their vicinity, are encouraged to make proposals for grants and also to scrutinise bids from other organisations or units to ensure that the ‘moral & spiritual welfare’ element is suitably evident, recognising that this terminology offers scope for a broad interpretation.
Any enquiries should be addressed to the Board’s clerk via the firstname.lastname@example.org