Achievements to date
First Years Achievements
The charity has helped over 60 ex-Gurkha soldiers some with families/dependants
The first year has seen the Gurkha needs change month by month. Initially helping men who had been stuck in no-mans land awaiting indefinite leave to remain. This was very much a role of assisting them getting back into work and regaining their self esteem as well as providing essentials.
Moving men from living together with seven others in cramped conditions often sleeping on the floor to having their own bedsit bathroom kitchen and furniture was major leap and thanks to James Butcher Housing we made an excellent start with all our initial clients housed in this way.
Various other charities benifitted from the work done by ex-Gurkha volunteers, the change in the ex-Gurkhas from depressed individuals to laughing smiling men doing their best to help others has been remarkable.
In the main this involved gardening, painting and general renovation work.
The charity via it's liason office Chandra Budhathoki and ex-mayor Peter Beard took clients to various local government offices and helped them complete various forms(NI, housing benefits, NHS registration, Pensions, Job Centre etc etc.) A very daunting challenge for a non-English speaker but absolutley vital to gaining a good start in the UK.
The then mayor Peter Beard gained the assistance of Reading Bus Company and bus passes were gained for our initial group of Gurkhas enebling them to move around Reading from their base in Theale.
Royal British Legion
Their help has been invaluable chairman Paul Keddie became a British Legion care worker dealing exclusively with ex-Gurkha clients. The provision of food vouchers in particular has been invaluable in cases of hardship and have enabled those less fortunate to have some essential supplies.
Furniture - Freecycle
Members of the charity together with ex-Gurkhas used the website to equip flats/bedsits. Kind donations from the general public direct to ex-Gurkhas meant that other charities did not have their funds diminished.
The seven street collections were extremely well supported by the general public and the effect on the ex-Gurkhas was very positive with their self esteem and pride restored.
A minibus was purchased enabling ex-Gurkhas to travel to events and collect furniture etc. It is hoped that it will also be used to enable older ex-Gurkhas and their wives to take day trips and attend social events.
The trustees are looking to provide further support to the Gurkha liason officer with a possibility of employment.
The most successful activities have been in the area of social work which is a major priority of newly arrived Gurkhas. In this way we will continue to support the most needy. The charity has decided to close it's office in Nepal instead it will support the work of the Gurkha welfare trust and it's free scheme in Nepal. Ex-Gurkhas using this route of entry can get free assistance with gaining ILR and now national insurance numbers in Nepal and enter a fast track system which carries through to the UK.