How many Gurkhas have arrived since the new immigration entitlements were announced?
This is a matter for the Home Office and the UK Border Agency and beyond the remit of the WPC. It is inevitable that the number of Gurkhas will increase in this country as a result of a series of changes to Government immigration entitlements for Gurkhas. The Trust is ready to respond to any increase through the establishment of a Welfare Centre in Salisbury and strong partnerships with other Service Charities and agencies.
What do you think of Joanna Lumley
Joanna Lumley has been a champion of the Gurkha solider for decades and is a loyal and devoted daughter of the Regiment. The Trust is honoured to have Miss Lumley as a Vice Patron of the Trust and thrilled that she has lent her support to the launch of a major fundraising drive for the Trust.
What is Joanna Lumley’s position on the recent media coverage on UK Gurkha welfare?
You will have to ask Joanna Lumley. These issues are beyond the remit of the WPC.
Is Joanna Lumley to blame for the hardships being experienced by Gurkhas in this country?
Of course not. The issues on UK Gurkha welfare are complicated and best addressed another time. For now, focus of the WPC is raising funds for 10,000 old Gurkha soldiers and widows in Nepal who rely on the Trust.
What is the Trust’s position on GAESO and the other organisations accused of exploiting Gurkhas.
These issues are beyond the remit of the WPC
The Trust is deeply distressed to learn of instances where organisations and individuals have misled Gurkhas over the realities of life in the UK. The Trust is in no way implicated in these articles and, in partnership with the MOD, has in place a comprehensive welfare structure to support those seeking resettlement in the UK. These services are impartial, authoritative and provided free of charge.
These are complicated matters and best addressed in another forum as the WPC is a fundraising activity with its focus on raising money for welfare pensions (and the CT).
What does the Trust think about the cases of Gurkhas in distress in the UK recently featured in the media?
The Trust is very concerned about reports of Gurkhas in need of welfare support. It would be inappropriate for the Trust to comment on the detail of the specific welfare cases in the media, but in general it is important that the public is reassured, there an excellent welfare infrastructure in place for any Gurkha in need in this country and it responds with urgency to cases of distress and hardship both here and in Nepal. The Gurkha Welfare Centre in Salisbury (with a forward operating base at Aldershot) is the focus for all UK Gurkha welfare and is helping Gurkhas seek their statutory entitlements and benevolence from other Service charities and agencies.
If there is such a huge demand for welfare support in this country, why is the WPC directing its funds to Nepal?
There are 10,000 old soldiers and widows in Nepal who are in the twilight of their lives and rely absolutely on the Trust for a dignified old age. We owe a debt of honour to these people, many of whom are WWII veterans.
Furthermore, the WPC is a personal challenge for Mike Willis and Bruce Jackman. They are compelled to help their old comrades and those that served directly alongside of them.