I am writing to you this brief not, in order to offer my personal thanks for all the work you and the Corps Welfare Team do to support REME Soldiers. Since I have been in command at the King’s Royal Hussars, you have supported us on five separate occasions ranging from house fire damages, to a wreath to remember a KRH LAD soldier who had passed away several years ago.
Whilst in each case we were supported monetarily, the compassion and engagement shown by all of the team is undeniable and as an Officer who is responsible for the welfare of over 70 soldiers, knowing that I have the Corps’ support during challenging circumstances is of huge value to me.
In each of the cases above, I have been thanked by the individuals for my assistance, but I feel fraudulent in receiving those thanks, as it is your hard work that really makes the difference and I hope that this letter goes someway to addressing that balance.
Thank you again for all of the Corps Welfare Team’s incredible support; it makes me absolutely proud to be part of the REME Family.
(Letter received by The REME Charity Welfare Team – October 2015)
Dear Sir, Madam,
I want to thank The REME Charity (The REME Benevolent Fund) for the generous contribution via SSAFA towards the installation of a stair lift for my husband – Tony Swift and myself.
Without this funding, Tony would have remained a prisoner in his bedroom as we were unable to carry him down the stairs all the time. It has made a great deal of difference to his life, even though with his dementia and other complex medical issues he doesn’t realise it, the fact is, my life is a lot better for it. Thank you so much for your help.
Thanking you once again.
After missing the death of my father who died suddenly in Zimbabwe I found myself overwhelmed with grief; having to return home to orchestrate the funeral arrangements and deal with the loss of a man who shaped the way I have grown up.
Leaving my children and wife in England, I dropped everything and embarked on the torturous journey. I rapidly found myself solving the majority of the arrangements by opening my wallet and watching the money fly out.
Only after returning to England and trying to resume a normal life did I consider approaching The REME Charity. My Welfare Officer suggested I did so and I cannot praise them enough. In providing the financial justification I finally realised how brutally expensive the whole episode was. Being the sole wage earner for a young family and having gone into debt I cannot offer enough praise and gratitude to both The REME Charity and the ABF: The Soldiers Charity. The financial assistance they provided paid for the flights; I am humbled by the unquestioning support I received. By paying one day’s pay into The REME Charity you are entitled to support at your time of need and I cannot thank both organisations enough for their assistance.
By way of introduction, my name is WO2 (AQMS) ‘Midge’ Midgley. I have been a member of the REME for almost 19 years now. At the young age of 16, during my first week in the Army we were all asked to donate a small percentage (one day’s pay) of our wages to The REME Charity (previously known as The REME Central Charitable Trust). Not fully understanding what this was and the assistance it provides I begrudgingly agreed.
I am currently married to Gemma and have been for 8 years, we have a 4 year old son called Heston who is the most precious thing in our world. Nearly 2 years ago we notice that Heston was developing slower in some areas such as speech and social play than his peers. This led to a number of assessments that went on for almost a year.
The results of the assessments led to a diagnosis of autism. If you have seen films such as ‘Rain Man’ or ‘The Accountant’ with Ben Affleck you may have a small insight to some of the autistic traits that are found on the spectrum. Heston is only 4 so we still do not know if he possess the ‘high functioning’ autistic traits such as counting cards at poker (Rain Man) or an exceptional eye for detail and planning for assassinations (The Accountant). What we do know is that he is 4 and still non-verbal.
Having a 4 year old that is non-verbal comes with other issues; it is extremely challenging to teach him anything and everything, including toilet training! Gemma and my biggest achievement this year to date is getting Heston to have a poo on the toilet!
Autistic children require routine with everything. The find it extremely hard to cope with change. To this end, and for me to continue in the REME, Gemma and I had to make the hard decision to go ‘unaccompanied’ and buy our own home in order to provide Heston the much needed stability and routine of not moving every two years (assignments) and to have continuity with schooling and his social circle.
Gemma has had to give up work and be Heston’s carer. Heston requires one-to-one all the time, including nursery and school when he starts in September. All this coupled with other issues I have not had time or space to mention all of this comes with a huge financial burden; with a huge amount of stress and worry. The REME Charity has been there to assist in a number of ways that Gemma, Heston and I are extremely grateful for.
There is a private company (Brain Wave) that assist in speech therapy. This comes at a cost. With our finances already stretched with Gemma being forced to give up work, buying a new home, installing a sensory room and all the other financial commitments this treatment was well out of reach. I contacted Bev at The REME Charity to seek financial assistance with the cost of this treatment, Bev and The REME Charity: Grants Committee approved my request for financial assistance and paid for the treatment. We have already had one set of therapy with the second scheduled over Easter leave. Already there is a huge difference, Heston is able to communicate basic needs in the form of a picture book (PECS). This may sound medieval and simple, but believe me when you have a 4 year old going absolutely crazy because he wants something but he can’t tell you what, this basic new found form of communication is extremely welcomed!
Gemma, Heston and I are so grateful to Bev, Colonel Phillips, The REME Charity and all of the members of the Corps for donating a small amount of their wages to The REME Charity and assisting our little boy to be able to speak. Hopefully one day he will scream ‘daddy, daddy, daddy’ when I come home from work!