Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Everyone at the Officers’ Association Benevolent Fund (OABF)
So, we say farewell to 2023 and what a significant year it has been for the OABF. The beginnings of a brand new chapter and one that returns the OABF to its founding principle – of providing relief from distress to former-officers, their widows, widowers and dependents – upon which the OA was formed over a century ago by Earl Haigh. With an updated name – The Officers’ Association Benevolent Fund (OABF), chosen to reflect this primary focus, the Fund has responded to the challenging times we’re facing by launching its Cost of Living Grant. In so doing, it has opened up to new cases for the first time since 2021 and put itself on the front line of support for the veteran officer community. The Association has consolidated its position in 2023, providing advice, help and financial grants to former officers and acting as an essential intermediary, connecting them with the support that they need. Following the move to remote working practices during the lockdowns of the Covid pandemic, the OABF has built upon this approach, transitioning to a fully remote workforce. For the first time in its history, we do not have a headquarters office and the OABF team work in a home-based, virtual and paperless environment. It is a testament to their enthusiasm and dedication that the ethos and effectiveness of the organisation has been maintained, whilst achieving a significant reduction in our operating costs and moving to a greener and future facing working practice.
We have a huge debt of gratitude to pay to our incredible team of staff, who continue to work tirelessly, supporting our veterans in need, and to our outstanding voluntary Honorary Representatives (Hon Reps) – without them the OABF would not be able to do the work that it does. We recognised their invaluable contribution again this year at our annual ‘Hon Reps Roadshow’, featuring two dates – one in Chester and one in Bath, which allowed Hon Reps from all parts of the UK to gather and reflect on the learnings and successes of the year.
We have also invested in the legacy of the Association to mark this time of significant change, commissioning in-depth research into the OABF’s history up to the present day. The results of which can be read in full on the OABF’s new Wikipedia page here.
We look forward to another meaningful year ahead for the OABF and want to thank our staff, volunteers, the veterans we support and the wider community for everything they do and for being part of the OABF.
If you would like to donate to the OABF this Christmas, we would be hugely grateful and the funds will go directly to supporting veteran officers in need, or if you are seeking a new challenge for 2024 – we are always on the lookout for new Hon Rep volunteers and have welcomed new recruits to the OABF fold this year. You can find out more about becoming an Hon Rep here, and of course, please spread the word to veteran officers about the support that is available for them through the OABF, should they need it.
Thank you again and wishing you all a very merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year.