A look at benevolence support
Caring for Royal Signals soldiers from cradle to grave
When birth isn’t straightforward
Sometimes having a baby isn’t plain sailing. When one of our Corps family had a premature baby, requiring extended hospital care, we were able to help out by funding some of the additional, unforeseen expenses.
“Removing some of the stress from a very challenging time made a huge difference. Thank you.”
There for you
Over the years we’ve flown several soldiers to locations at short notice for compassionate reasons. We can respond speedily to genuine requests for help and support.
“My father was seriously ill and had to undergo life-changing surgery. The RSBF flew me out to see him, it made such a huge difference to all of us that I was able to be there, thank you.”
Death in Service
The loss of a soldier
Sadly every year we have a number of deaths in service. This has a significant impact on a Unit both emotionally and in terms of support to nearest and dearest including friends and colleagues. An automatic grant of £1500 is issued to units to help with the additional financial burden at this time. Sadly it won’t bring back the treasured colleague but it does make a difference to their last post.
He did it - can you?
When you think of them, think of us
RSBF - Supporting Royal Signals Soldiers - There when they need us
£1 million grants awarded in the past three years
Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, fundraisers and donors
Scream if you want to get off…
Zip a dee doo dah
We’re not quite sure what was going through Barbara Burkihill’s mind as she experienced ‘the zip’ of a lifetime but it was a wonderful day for The RSBF.
Barbara, who was gifted this challenge as part of her Bucket List of things to do, not only donated the £60 entry fee but went on to raise more than £600 in sponsorship for the RSBF.
Barbara completed the challenge at Zipworld – the fastest and longest Zipwire experience in Europe, achieving speeds in excess of 100 mph.
Huge thanks to Barbara and her husband Brian for thinking of us and helping us to help others.
An exhilarating fundraising challenge
Our workSwift and sure support
Life long care
Cradle to grave
The Royal Signals Benevolent Fund (RSBF) is a grant giving charity and helps Signallers in need. The only requirement to receive help is to have worn The Royal Signals cap badge for at least one day (or for former female WRAC – Jimmy on the lapel), this includes Gurkha Signals who are cap badged Royal Signals.
Death in Service
Death in Service is especially difficult for all concerned. We understand how difficult it can be for units when a serving soldier passes away. For that reason units are automatically granted £1500 to help with the immediate costs associated with dealing with the death of a colleague.
Supporting The Corps
Charity begins at home?
The RSBF supports a wealth of Corps Activities including sports and adventurous training, The Corps Band, Museum, Royal Signals Institution activities and events. Many serving soldiers contribute to the charity via the pay giving scheme. Officers and NCOs make additional contributions and in return we support their messes and events.
All donations and Legacies to the RSBF go to supporting serving and retired Signallers in need, not to Corps activities.
Working in partnership
The right help for you
We work very closely with The Royal British Legion (RBL), SSAFA and The Army Benevolent Fund (ABF). Case work for Signallers in need is undertaken by any of the aforementioned charities.
Once a case is validated and need highlighted The RSBF will be approached to support the Signaller financially. Sometimes additional monies will be sought from elsewhere, including The ABF. For that reason we make a payment every year to support the work of The ABF.
Words from those we have helped
Thank yous are wonderful but we don’t expect them – we just want to make sure we’re doing all we can to make a difference.
Sometimes it is too difficult or painful to pen a Thank-you letter. A number of the Thank-yous we cannot share as to do so may risk client confidentiality. Occasionally the recipient doesn’t want to thank those who help as, at the point of receiving help, they’re not in ‘the right place’ to appreciate that help. But on behalf of all those who have been helped through the generosity of our supporters and hard work from all those involved we say a huge, and heartfelt Thank-you – you’re amazing.
Payday loan paralysis
I am ex Royal Signals, 36 years old, and a single parent to a 15 year old boy. I have lived in my house, which is owned by Rochdale Council for the last 9 years and work full-time as a Security Officer to provide a better life for myself and my son. Household bills went up, my wage didn’t and I often found myself without money within three days of being paid. Twelve months ago my finances spiralled out of control, foolishly I took out a payday loan, promising myself I would pay it in full the following month, but I couldn’t afford to.
To ensure my son had food and clothes to wear I frequently went without meals, drinking only coffee or water
My rent arrears hit £1,800 and I was served with an eviction notice. The sense of fear was immense; if I was to lose our home, what would become of my son and I? Distraught, I contacted the Manchester Branch of the British Legion and explained my circumstances. They kindly gave me Asda vouchers for food and helped me complete paperwork to apply for a grant to cover my rent arrears. Weeks passed, then a letter came from the British Legion explaining my arrears were to be paid, thanks to a massive donation of £1,000 from the Royal Signals Benevolent Fund.
I remember reading the letter, tears rolling down my cheeks – £1000 of help from the RSBF
I breathed a sigh of relief, my house wasn’t going to be taken and I knew that myself and my son were going to be safe and not split-up or forced onto the streets.Former Signaller
Urine soaked carpets and smoke damage greeted us
My wife was pregnant and we lived in a one bed council flat which was far too small for us and a new baby. We managed to get a larger flat by exchanging properties with an alcoholic, but that’s when our problems started. The place was in a terrible state of disrepair, layers of urine soaked carpets and smoke damage throughout – caused when the previous occupant had a close encounter with a chip pan – were just some of the issues we faced.
I worked hard but received only a little over the minimum wage. It was a struggle and I simply couldn’t afford to bring the place up to standard. My family deserved a decent home but the £50 decorating voucher given to us by the council wasn’t going to make a dent.
Desperate, I contacted SSAFA, they sent my details to the RSBF
I cannot tell you how much the RSBF helped me. They paid for carpets, paint, wallpaper and furniture for the new baby – amazing.
Sometimes people need a little helping hand and the RSBF was there for us when my family really needed it. Thank-you so much.
Soldiers are taught to be self reliant and never ask for help but there are times when you just need a helping hand from someone who cares.
If you’ve ever been part of The Royal Signals family and need a helping hand please get in touch. e can signpost you to a caseworker who will help and support you. They will then approach The RSBF for funding if appropriate.New Parent
Day’s Pay Giving supports…
All monies raised via fundraising go to supporting benevolence only.
In addition to benevolence support we also enrich Corps Life via Service Day’s Pay Giving. These funds are invaluable for sports, events, corps activities, The Wire, The RSI and so much more.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get financial help from The RSBF?
We work with SSAFA, RBL and ABF to help Signallers in need – and sometimes their immediate family too.
If you don’t know where to start please contact Linda Sizeland Telephone: 01258 48 2089
Do you fund adventurous training?
We provide Adventurous Training Grants to those members of The Corps who subscribe to the one-day-pay giving scheme. We fund up to a maximum of £70 per person (occasionally more on a case by case basis). Each request is looked at on an individual basis. The vast majority of well-supported cases are approved. Where a request is not successful we will indicate why.
If a trip is already receiving a grant from the sports fund individuals will not be eligible for additional funding. Find out more here
I have transferred in to Royal Signals do I need to change my Pay Giving arrangements?
I don't pay in can I have help?
As a serving or retired member of the Royal Corps of Signals (or dependant of) you may be eligible for benevolence support – which is based on need, should you find yourself facing hardship or distress at any time, but you will not be eligible for many of the benefits that come from RSBF membership – such as an Adventure Training grant. All hardship cases are dealt with via a case worker from any of The RBL, SSAFA, Officers’ Association or The AFB. The caseworker assesses the need then, should financial help be deemed to be an appropriate course of action, the caseworker will make a formal approach to The RSBF.
What kind of things does RSBF benevolence support?
Examples of what the grants are generally made for:
- To allow beneficiary to remain in their own home rather than move to a care home:
Bathroom adaptations eg installation of a wetroom
Kitchen adaptations eg wheelchair friendly work tops
Ramps (to allow wheelchair access)
Ground floor bathroom facilities
- Property Repairs
Essential maintenance to beneficiary owned property
- Payment of Debts
Assistance to clear priority debts (utility/rent)
Payment of bankruptcy fees
- Provision of mobility items
Car adaptations to carry EPV
Sensory equipment (for children)
Specialist equipment for disabled children eg beds/chairs/car seats/protective head gear
Provision of essential furniture/white goods/carpets
Decorating/garden maintenance for those with mobility issues
Assistance with the cost of a respite break
Family holiday for those about to experience bereavement to make ‘happy memories’
Assistance with the cost of training or the provision of training materials (usually via Civvystreet or prisons)
Purchase of passports (for proof of identity to gain employment/benefits)
Driving lessons (usually for spouses of serving soldiers)
Flights to allow the beneficiary (serving soldier) to attend a funeral of family member
Assistance with fees for funeral (not headstones/memorials)
Are there things the RSBF can not/will not support?
Some of the frequently requested things that we cannot fund include:
- Legal fees
- Private medical costs
- Care/nursing home fees
- School fees
- Non-priority debts (eg bank loans)
- Re-payment of benefits
- Retrospective applications