Hampshire’s fire chiefs have welcomed a multi-million pound boost for firefighter welfare causes.
The Fire Fighters Charity will receive up to £1 million of funding from the Government to enhance their existing services to fire service staff. The charity will also be handed a further £1 million to enable them to offer their services to both ambulance and search and rescue staff.
This funding is part of a £10 million pot from fines levied against the banks following the LIBOR interest rate scandal.
John Bonney, Hampshire’s Chief Officer, said: “This is fantastic news and a welcome boost for an organisation that does so much to help support firefighters and their families in times of need.
“The fact the charity’s work is also being extended to include ambulance and search and rescue personnel means their hugely important work can now touch even more of the emergency service family.
In addition to the direct funding for The Fire Fighters Charity, £4 million of funding will be given to mental health charity MIND to provide focused support and information services to all emergency services personnel.
Another £1 million has also been set aside to establish an endowment for the emergency services sector to support bereaved families of active service personnel.
Royston Smith, Chairman of the Hampshire Fire Authority, said: “Emergency service personnel carry out some of the most important work in our society, keeping us safe and secure in our homes and communities.
“We therefore owe it to them to provide support when they most need it and these contributions will go a long way to paying back some of our debt to them for the work they do.”
Penny Mordaunt, MP for Portsmouth North and current Fire Minister, said the funding allocation sought “to recognise the great work that our emergency services personnel undertake and the positive work being delivered by organisations such as The Fire Fighters Charity to support our emergency services personnel.”