Armed Forces organisations and charities

Organisations and charities supporting Armed Forces


Op RESTORE – Veterans Physical Health and Wellbeing Service

Op RESTORE is an NHS service that ensures those who have served in the UK Armed Forces access the right NHS treatment for significant, continuing physical injuries and illnesses caused by their time in the Armed Forces.

Working together with military and civilian medical professionals, along with charities, we understand military life and the physical issues that can result from this.

Regardless of how long you served for, or how long ago you left the Armed Forces, we can support you with getting the right support to help restore your health and wellbeing.

We know that you and your family might be affected by a range of health and wellbeing issues due to your time in Service. We can help by:

  • ensuring you can access the care you need within the NHS
  • making sure you’re treated by people who understand the military world and specialise in the type of physical health problems you have
  • putting together a care plan shaped around your needs.

It doesn’t matter when the physical health problem happened or when you left the Armed Forces, Op RESTORE can help you if:

  • you’ve served at least one day in the British Armed Forces
  • your physical health problem is known to be caused by your time in Service
  • you’ve asked your GP to refer you

We work closely with Op COURAGE and can help you to access this service if you need support for your mental health. We also have close ties with military charities who can offer you further help.

Ask your GP to refer you to Op RESTORE – we can then create a plan for you using clinical information from your medical records.

Op RESTORE referral forms for GPs are available via email.

NHS website – Op RESTORE (Opens in a new window)


Op COURAGE – Veterans’ Mental Health and Wellbeing Service

OP Courage is for serving personnel approaching discharge, and for veterans. The service provides a range of treatment, from access to early support, to therapeutic treatment for complex mental health difficulties, and psychological trauma​​​.

Once we’ve received your referral and clinical information from your GP, a support worker from a military charity will get in touch – this usually takes about five working days. Your support worker can:

  • help you get any non clinical and welfare support you need
  • talk through any concerns or questions you have
  • keep you updated as your referral is being reviewed
  • help your family or carer access support if needed.

When your referral and the Service related clinical information from your GP is received, we will review it. This process normally takes about 8 weeks during which time we will make a plan for your care.

We want to make sure that you’re seen by a clinician with the right skills and experience to treat you and will refer you, where needed, to other NHS services. It may be that you are already receiving the most appropriate health care for your needs, in which case we will confirm your treatment and may still offer some welfare support if you need it.

We use existing NHS services and because of this you may have to wait a few months before seeing someone. Please be aware that the NHS service we recommend may not be local to you. Whilst Op RESTORE is unable to reduce NHS waiting times, we will work with you to ensure you are able to see the best person to treat you.

Once your clinical plan has been agreed by a consultant with expertise in caring for those with Service related issues, we will contact your GP who will let you know the next steps.

NHS website – Op COURAGE (Opens in a new window)


Op FORTITUDE – service for veterans in housing crisis or at risk

Op FORTITUDE provides a centralised referral pathway for veterans experiencing homelessness or at risk of losing their current home.
Phone: 0800 952 0774
Riverside website – Op FORTITUDE (Opens in a new window).


National organisations

Veterans Gateway

First point of contact for veterans and their families providing information, advice and support.
Phone: 0808 802 1212
Text: 81212
Veterans’ Gateway website (Opens in a new window).

Combat Stress

The charity Combat Stress provides self help advice on their website. They offer mental health helplines for 24/7 confidential advice and support.
Veterans and their families helpline: 08001 381 619
Serving personnel and their families helpline: 08003 234 444
Text Combat Stress: 07537 173 683
Email the Combat Stress helpline
Combat Stress website (Opens in a new window).

Defence Medical Welfare Service (DMWS)

DMWS provides practical and emotional support to military personnel, veterans, their families and other entitled civilians when they’re in hospital, rehabilitation recovery centres​​​​​​​.
DMWS website (Opens in a new window).

Help for Heroes

The Help for Heroes charity provides physical, psychological, financial and welfare support to wounded, injured and sick service personnel and veterans, and their families. Contact Help for Heroes through their website to see how they can support you.
Help for Heroes website (Opens in a new window).

Royal British Legion

The Royal British Legion gives advice and support on wellbeing on their website and through their community branches. For additional advice and support, the Royal British Legion also have an online chat and helpline that is open 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week.
Helpline: 08088 028 080
Royal British Legion website (Opens in a new window).


SSAFA provides lifelong emotional and practical support. To get support, call their helpline or use their online chat Monday to Friday, 9 to 5.30pm.
Helpline: 08002 606 767
SSAFA website (Opens in a new window).


For veterans who struggle to live independently.  STOLL provides housing and support services to help veterans live independently.
STOLL website (Opens in a new window).


Togetherall is a mental health support service that provides anonymous, round-the-clock online support, with trained counsellors available at all times. There’s a supportive community and lots of free resources that all armed forces personnel, reservists, veterans and their families can use at any time.
Togetherall website (Opens in a new window).


Armed Forces Charities for People with Specific Healthcare Conditions


For veterans who have experienced life-changing limb loss, lost the use of a limb, or lost sight during service, as well as their families.
Blesma offers advice and support through their local support officers. Blesma also provides financial assistance to help with the additional costs of disability.
Phone: 02085 901 124
Blesma website (Opens in a new window).

Blind Veterans UK

For veterans who have experienced sight loss and their families.
Blind Veterans UK offer community groups, rehabilitation and support with care as well as advice on their website.
Phone: 08003 897 979
Blind Veterans UK website (Opens in a new window).


Women’s Armed Forces Charities

Salute Her UK​​​​​​​

For women veterans who are survivors of military sexual trauma and their families.
Salute Her UK provides a support service which offers mental health therapy and interventions for women survivors of military sexual trauma in a single sex environment.
Salute Her website (Opens in a new window).


LGBTQIA+ Armed Forces Charities

Fighting with Pride

For LGBTQIA+ serving personnel, veterans and their families.
Fighting with Pride advise on how to get help and provide information for LGBTQIA+ members of the armed forces community.
Fighting With Pride website (Opens in a new window).


Addiction Charities

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)

AA is a free self-help network. Its “12-step” programme involves getting sober with the help of regular support groups. AA believes people with drink problems need to give up alcohol permanently.​​​​​​​
Alcoholics Anonymous Great Britain website (Opens in a new window).

SMART Recovery

SMART Recovery runs a network of self-help and mutual aid meetings where participants help themselves and fellow members with recovery from any kind of addictive behaviour.​​​​​​​
SMART Recovery website (Opens in a new window).

The Matthew Project Outside the Wire 

Veteran-led armed forces support in Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Cambridge. The Matthew Project Outside the Wire is a bespoke drug and alcohol service offering confidential advice and support to current and ex HM Forces personnel and their families, across Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, and Cambridgeshire.

The Matthew Project website (Opens in a new window)


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