Delyn MP David Hanson has backed the Big Lottery Fund’s decision to commit over £1 million in extra good cause funding in the year ahead for the UK’s WWII veterans to make sure they can make their personal battlefront commemorative journeys to the places they saw action.
The additional funding for the scheme comes as the Fund is naming the 50,000thindividual to benefit from the Heroes Return grant schemes.
Nearly 200 grants amounting to over £300,000 have been awarded in Wales to support veterans, their spouses, widows and carers to travel to destinations including France, Belgium, Italy, Gibraltar and Egypt since May 2009.
The current Heroes Return2 programme was scheduled to close in January but now remains open until 31st January 2012.
David Hanson said:
“I am pleased that so many veterans that fought so bravely for our country have had the chance to revisit the places in which they saw action. We owe these people a huge debt of gratitude and as part of that I welcome the extension of this important scheme.”
Through the scheme, Second World War veterans from the UK, Channel Islands and Republic of Ireland can apply for travel and accommodation costs to visit the places across the world where they saw active service or to take part in an official commemoration in the UK. War widows and widowers of veterans are also eligible, and carers and spouses can also receive funding to travel with veterans.
More information and details of how to apply for a Heroes Return 2 grant are available by calling 0845 00 00 121 or visiting
Forces in Mind
BIG is continuing its support for UK veterans through its new £35 million Forces in Mind initiative to establish an independent Trust to provide long term support and advocacy for former service personnel. The funding will help veterans who served in conflicts including Iraq, Afghanistan and the Gulf War struggling with the transition to civilian life, especially those whose psychological well-being subsequently impacts on the quality of their life and others around them.
Notes to editors
· The Big Lottery Fund (BIG), the largest distributor of National Lottery good cause funding, is responsible for giving out half the money raised for good causes by the National Lottery.
· BIG is committed to bringing real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need and has been rolling out grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK since June 2004. The Fund was formally established by Parliament on 1 December 2006.
· Since the National Lottery began in 1994, 28p from every pound spent by the public has gone to good causes. As a result, over £25 billion has now been raised and more than 330,000 grants awarded across arts, sport, heritage, charities, health, education and the environment.
· Heroes Return £17 million scheme provided funding to Second World War veterans, their wives or husbands, widows and widowers and, where required, their present-day carers to visit the overseas areas where the veterans saw active service. By linking with activities funded through the Their Past Your Future scheme, Heroes Return is also helping to give young people a better understanding of the efforts and sacrifices made by veterans.
· Home Front Recall provided grants of between £500 and £20,000 for regional and local projects across the UK in 2004-2005 that commemorated the events of the Second World War and the contributions of different groups in society. The scheme funded a very wide range of projects including special community days; reunions and exhibitions; recordings of the experiences of those who lived through the War; plays and pieces of creative artwork. In addition, the scheme funded a number of national grants to organisations such as the TUC to fund a range of commemorative activities.
· Their Past Your Future is an ongoing UK-wide schools and education scheme to give young people the opportunity to learn first-hand from veterans about their experience of war. The Big Lottery Fund is working closely with the Imperial War Museum and the museums, libraries and archives sector UK-wide to help young people to research and learn about the personal experiences and roles played by forces personnel and civilians. Competitions have enabled schools to take part in World War Two related visits with veterans. The Imperial War Museum has a website (www.theirpast-yourfuture.org.uk) with a wide range of resources for schools to use and details of projects delivered by museums across the UK.