SSAFA’s Gurkha Support Service is available to all serving and veteran members of the Brigade of Gurkhas and their families.
Local support is provided via a network of SSAFA volunteers to ensure the Gurkha community has the same
opportunities as any other military families.
When ex-Queen’s Gurkha engineer Tilak Rai (main photo) arrived in Derby last year, he, along with his wife and two young children, had to share a three-bedroom home with another family.
Unable to understand the benefits system in England, he was struggling to access the right support.
Tilak struggled to get any support until Gurkha services manager Sheila Limbu and outreach worker Laxmi Bantawa MBE met with the local Gurkha community. The pair referred Tilak to his local SSAFA branch. Within two weeks, SSAFA volunteers secured funding for Tilak and his family.
He was supplied with items for the home and toys for his children. The charity also helped him with applications for Universal Credit, council tax exemptions and medical care for his pregnant wife, which she wasn’t previously accessing. Tilak is now receiving English language training and SSAFA has offered to support him find a job.
Tilak says: “Life before SSAFA was very hard. Now it’s so different. I’m more comfortable, and my family is happy.”
Former Gurkha Major, Laxmi Bantawa says: “Some of the Gurkha ex-servicemen and the community are living in
some very difficult conditions. They find it hard to understand and navigate the system. But it’s great to see that with the help of SSAFA, they go from nothing to having everything they need.”
SSAFA works collaboratively with other Gurkha specific organisations such as the Gurkha Welfare Advice Centre, the Gurkha Brigade Association, the Army Welfare Service, Gurkha communities and others.
To find out more, visit ssafa.org.uk/get-help/gurkha-services