From: Rear Admiral Mike Kimmons CB

Dear Members,

I hope that, you your families, friends and colleagues are all well, and coping with the vitally important changes to our lifestyles and working practices to help keep each other safe. Collectively, we can all help by following national guidelines and legislation so that we can reduce our potential impact on our globally strained medical facilities, while showing our support and considerable gratitude for our dedicated healthcare professionals and volunteers.

Now is an appropriate time to update you on a few points.  Through your considerable generosity I can report that as of today the Club has received £136,268 in donations via our Just Giving page, to which we can add a further £25,821 we can receive under the UK Government’s ‘Gift Aid’ tax relief policy.  In addition to these magnificent sums, the Club has received close to £10,000 in cheques, and more continue to come in daily.  An exceptional donation from a Scottish Charitable Foundation for £5,000 has also been promised.  Accordingly, taking all of those into account, the membership with contributions made from across the world has raised £177,000.  This is an outstanding sum.  Every donation of every amount is enormously valued. My fellow Trustees and the Club’s staff were all humbled and delighted to see how much money has been raised so far. The accompanying words of support and recognition for what the staff do here has been uplifting for them during this unprecedented period of uncertainty. At present, like others, we await the details of the application details for the UK Government’s Coronavirus Job Retentions Scheme. Your donations will wholly be used to support the staff. I anticipate closing this appeal in a matter of weeks and I will write again on this.

You will also wish to know that during this crisis the Club has remained open, but only for key workers. Currently, we have fifty individuals who are staying with us and these are very largely drawn from military personnel who are augmenting the Ministry of Defence, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and the National Health Service, amongst others. The Club has a team of living-in staff who are looking after these fifty key workers; we have offered up to one hundred bedrooms. The service we are providing is extremely bespoke and is fully cognisant of the health advice in respect of social distancing and our dedicated housekeeping staff are delivering an enhanced cleaning programme. The staff’s commitment and professionalism is to be applauded.

Finally, may I also thank you for your continuing support for the Club, through your payment of the membership fees. This is clearly an important source of revenue at a time when our other traditional sources of income have been so depleted, like many others.

Thank you again for your outstanding generosity. On behalf of my fellow Trustees and the staff of the Victory Services Club, we hope that you all remain safe and well during this extraordinary period.  We look forward to seeing you again in better times.

Best wishes,

Mike Kimmons CB

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