Crisis funding distributed by Bravery Trust to support Aussie veterans injured during service has surpassed $7 million.
With the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide hearings underway in Townsville this week, Bravery Trust has announced payments to families in hardship have topped $7 million.
Financial matters are recognised as a key pillar for veteran wellness.
Bravery Trust is a national military charity supporting veterans who are currently serving or have recently served in the Australian Defence Force. 70% of those reaching out for help from Bravery Trust are under 50 years old.
CEO Belinda Wilson said the top requests for support were household bills, rent/bond and motor vehicle expenses.
“We support veterans who have been injured, or sustained illness, during service. In many cases their world has been turned upside down through unexpected injury, which impacts not only their finances, but also cut shorts their career, impacting sense of belonging and identity,” Ms Wilson said.
“The constant pressures of managing a household budget and dealing with rising costs are hitting hard. Many are faced with the agonising decision to pay the rent, or feed the family.
“Our welfare and financial counsellors are seeing more and more veteran families reaching out to get the help they need this winter, and wanting to learn ways to make their limited income stretch further as prices rise.”
Bravery Trust provides an immediate financial safety net for injured veterans facing hardship.
The total provided in urgent welfare since the Trust was established in 2012 has now surpassed $7 million.
“We have always recognised that it is far better to teach someone to fish than to hand out fish … but at times our veterans need help purchasing the fishing rod so that they can climb out of the financial purgatory and take back control,” Ms Wilson said.
“We provide welfare when needed, but over the past couple of years we have introduced a veteran specific financial counselling service. After working through the initial crisis – often it’s about keeping veterans in their homes – our team works with each family to unpack their finances and create a longer term solution.
“We can advocate with creditors and landlords, and help veterans to access entitlements they may not have known about. Then we work with veterans longer term to build financial literacy and provide confidence and skills to help families work more efficiently within the funding they have.”
As an independent charity Bravery Trust relies heavily on community support to be able to provide crisis funding to injured veterans and their families: www.donate.braverytrust.org.au
Any serving or ex-serving member of the Defence Force facing financial hardship as a result of injury or illness sustained during service can call 1800 272 379 to make an appointment with Bravery Trust’s specialist staff.