Former members of The Ulster Defence Regiment in Portadown and the surrounding areas are being asked to come forward and seek help, if they have fallen on hard or difficult times.
The Ulster Defence Regiment Benevolent Fund provides support to former members and their dependants who are in need because of sickness, disability, accidents, infirmity, poverty or other adversity.
Wesley Duncan, Chairman of UDR Benevolent Fund explained: “The Fund was set up in the 1970s to help those who were in need and were either affected by service and subsequent difficult times. It provides support to former members of the Ulster Defence Regiment and their dependants.
“As the Regiment was disbanded in 1992, the soldiers who served in this Regiment are now an ageing population. Too many times I hear of ailing colleagues who we could have assisted but it’s been too late. I’d like to change that.
“We would like to call upon those, who may know a former UDR member who is experiencing difficulty, for example, a family member, a neighbour, a member of their church, or those in the wider community to encourage the former member to contact the Benevolent Fund.”
Mr Duncan continued: “The Fund spends in the region of £400,000 per year, providing life-changing assistance to those who face difficult times in their lives. Asking for help can come with a feeling of embarrassment, however we want to change this. We are reaching out to people to get in touch, to allow us to help ease the burden and provide support during a difficult time.
“Help is tailored to the individuals’ needs and can come in many different forms, for example via food vouchers, an oil fill, respite, or even a specialised bed if this is required
and cannot be self-financed. We want to assist.”
Some examples of how The Benevolent Fund have provided assistance include helping a widow who was struggling financially to visit her child who was seriously in hospital.
The Benevolent Fund was also approached by a veteran who had a debilitating illness and was in need of adaption to his bathroom. The individual had approached a number of statutory agencies and was in the process of applying for a Disability Facility Grant through the NI Housing Executive, however there was still a substantial financial shortfall.
Upon receipt of all the supporting documentation/reports, the Benevolent Fund was able to make a contribution towards the overall cost of the adaption and solicit the support of other ex-Service charities.
All Benevolent Fund applications are dealt with in the strictest confidence by fully trained and highly knowledgeable professional case workers who complete all relevant paperwork on an individual’s behalf.
To find out more about the UDR Benevolent Fund, please phone 028 9042 0652 or email