Jasmine's Place Issue No. 15 - February 2015 - Page 40

COMMUNITY Forces Support is a UK-based charity focused on meeting practical needs for families that have lost a serviceman during combat. Forces Support Forces Support was set up in honour of brave service personnel who have lost their lives in current and recent conflicts, or while serving within these times. The charity was set up in March 2010 after the co-founder, Bill McCance searched relentlessly for a charity to provide practical assistance for the wife of a serviceman killed in Afghanistan in 2009, but discovered that this type of practical support was not available. The charity serves the United Kingdom and provides general maintenance around the home and garden – the work the lost family member would have done for his or her family. Professional builders and maintenance personnel carry out the work required. Applications are accepted from parents, widows, widowers and children of bereaved personnel. No job is deemed too small or too big, and can range from fitting a mirror, cutting a hedge, painting a small area, to redoing a hallway, or a whole garden area. 40 JASMINE'S PLACE The founder had no experience of the third sector and its funding streams when he started the charity, so he began by creating a business that would in turn support the charities work indefinitely. To do this he opened shops that sell donated goods and in the first three years, the charity was run with the proceeds. His work was recognised and in 2013, Forces Support was the Winner of the Foundation for Entrepreneurs: Fast Growth Award 2013; a finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the year awards; and also won the Great British Entrepreneur of the year awards. Forces Support is continually aiming to improve its services and a second research project it commissioned passed the Heriot Watt University Ethics committee and will be carried out this year. The research aims to measure the impact and benefits of the charity's type of support along with looking at the specific needs of bereaved parents, bereaved fathers’ resistance to therapeutic interventions and disenfranchised grief over time.