UDR benevolent fund extends helping hand to ex–soldiers

UDR memorial.  INLT 07-683-CON
UDR memorial. INLT 07-683-CON

The Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) benevolent fund is urging former soldiers to come forward if they have fallen on hard times and are in need of assistance.

Some 260 serving and former UDR CGC soldiers made the ultimate sacrifice, and hundreds more were injured or traumatised. Many continue to suffer in silence and may have fallen on hard times.

Wesley Duncan, chairman of the UDR benevolent fund said: “The fund was designed to provide support for former members, their families and dependants who are in need. Normally we provide help for example through food vouchers, an oil fill or even a specialised bed if this is required and cannot be self-financed.

“Need can be anything from someone who has fallen on hard times and has to choose between heating and eating, to someone who is ill and needs specialist equipment to help improve the quality of their life. We are trying to reach out to those who may have forgotten about us or may not have needed our help in the past.

“There is absolutely no cap to what we do. If required, we can even call upon the help of some of our more specialised sister organisations for further aid.”

The UDR benevolent fund was established in 1972 to ensure those who served would be looked after in years to come. In 1992, the Regiment was confined to the history books, but this new campaign has been launched to raise awareness of the range of valuable help available.

“We don’t want people to be intimidated in coming forward. All applications are dealt with in the strictest confidence by fully trained professional case workers who will complete all relevant paperwork on an individual’s behalf,” added Mr Duncan.

“We want people to come forward so that we can help them. We are asking people to make the first call so that we can talk to them. From there, we can have a quick conversation and ask permission to send a caseworker to their home. The caseworkers’ knowledge and expertise is of the highest level. If you know of a former UDR member in need of help, either contact the benevolent fund or please pass on our relevant contact information.”

To find out more about the UDR benevolent fund, phone 02890 420 137 or email office@udrbenfund.com