Dear all slnga members
Please find below message from GWAC Gary
Dear Community Leaders and et al.,
I hope this email finds you, your community and all families in the best of health and that you are all continuing to keep safe.
I had a very good telephone conversation with Sir Adrian who is very keen to have Gurkha veterans in the Royal Hospital Chelsea (RHC). As you can see from his email, if we have about ten to fifteen veterans interested in visiting the RHC to find out more about life in there, the Admission Team will arrange a date for a brief and a curry lunch for the visitors. I will accompany the group and will also act the translator.
Naturally, we will have to wear masks to prevent infection and they will ensure that we are kept at the required social distancing and will also provide disinfectant gels etc. To that end, I would be most grateful if you could forward the names of those individuals who are genuinely interested in visiting the RHC. Also please do circulate the link https://www.chelsea-pensioners.co.uk/ to all your respective members. Please note that one of the main criteria is that the individual must be 65 or of State Pension age which ever is the greater. Obviously, there is a criteria to be met which is given below which I have extracted from the website:
- We now have availability to accept applications to become a Chelsea Pensioner from individuals who meet the below criteria:
- To be eligible for admission as a Chelsea Pensioner, a candidate must be a former non-commissioned officer or soldier of the British Army who is:
- Over 65 years or of State Pension age (whichever is the greater)
- Either in receipt of an Army Service Pension or War Disability Pension which you would be required to surrender upon entry to the Royal Hospital OR if you do not receive an Army Pension you would be required to make a weekly financial contribution (payable by Standing Order) towards your living costs. This contribution will be based on an assessment of affordability completed during the application process. Please note, if you are in receipt of an Army Service Pension and/or War Disability Pension you may also be required to make a top-up contribution (also based on an assessment of affordability)
- Free of any financial obligation to support a spouse or family
- To be able to live independently in the sheltered accommodation (Long Wards) – the Royal Hospital Chelsea is unable to accept direct entries to the nursing wards
- Also eligible for admission are any former officers of the British Army who meet the criteria, provided they served for at least 12 years in the ranks before obtaining a commission or if they were awarded a disablement pension while serving in the ranks.
I did point out the Sir Adrian that our veterans would have language, culture and food problem. He said he was willing to look into this and pointed out that if they have about 3 or 4 Gurkha veterans living there at the same time, it would help them to keep each other company and then to slowly mingle with other incumbent RHC pensioners. Secondly, even if we cannot get our veterans willing to live there now, I am sure there will be Gurkha veterans who have decided to live in the UK for good willing to live in RHC in the near future.
So please, do circulate the information widely and do provide me the names of those who would be interested in visiting RHC. The group would all meet up at Waterloo Station on the arranged date and time and RHC would then provide transport to take us there.
If you have any suggestions or query, please do contact me.
Stay safe and kind reagards,