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Gurkha Welfare Advice Centre

The mission of the Gurkha Welfare Advice Centre - To assist in the coordination of benevolence and welfare for retired Gurkhas in the UK, working closely with government departments, service charities and other agencies, in order to support those in need.

Role and responsibilities

The role of the Gurkha Welfare Advice Centre, jointly operated by the Gurkha Welfare Trust and Headquarters Brigade of Gurkhas, is to provide advice and assistance both direct to retired Gurkhas and to the organizations and individuals helping them. In particular, it is responsible for:

  • Handling welfare-related enquiries - including providing advice, conducting interviews/visits and coordinating assistance.
  • Liaising with service charities, employment associations, government departments, local authorities and other agencies.
  • Developing/coordinating the Brigade's network of 'informal support' and comradeship, working with regimental associations, Gurkha Welfare Trust branches and Gurkha community groups.
  • Providing guidance on prudent planning to avoid welfare problems.
  • Disseminating information on the Brigade's UK welfare arrangements.

The Gurkha Welfare Advice Centre has two offices - the HQ in Salisbury and a 'Forward Operating Base' in Aldershot. Enquiries should generally be directed to the former in the first instance.

Background

With the introduction of the new HM Forces Immigration Rule in October 2004, applying to those retiring on or after 1 July 1997, significant numbers of retired Gurkhas became entitled to live and work in the UK. This created the need for a welfare structure for those who might fall on hard times.

The Army Benevolent Fund (ABF), The Royal British Legion, SSAFA-Forces Help and other service charities all pledged to assist Gurkhas in the same way as they support British ex-servicemen. The Brigade Secretariat in HQ Brigade of Gurkhas took on a coordinating role and, in April 2007, opened the Gurkha Welfare Advice Centre in Aldershot as a forward operating base.

On 21 May 2009 the Home Office announced that Gurkhas who served between 1948 and 1997 would also be allowed to settle in the UK. The MOD is coordinating cross-government action to assist those who wish to come here and has established the Gurkha Settlement Office in Kathmandu to provide advice.

Meanwhile, the Gurkha Welfare Trust, which since 2006 has been making annual grants to the ABF, has become more directly involved in coordinating welfare work in Britain, although its priority remains the alleviation of hardship and distress for Gurkha veterans and widows in Nepal.

The Trust, the leading Gurkha charity, has combined with HQ Brigade of Gurkhas to establish the Gurkha Welfare Advice Centre at Salisbury, with a reinforced office in Aldershot (based on the former Gurkha Welfare Advice Centre). The joint centre aims to assist both Gurkhas already settled in Britain and those newly-arrived, if they run into difficulties.

Contact details

Aldershot

Brigade Welfare Officer: Capt (Retd) Mahendrakumar Limbu
Tel No: 01252 315152
Fax: 01252 330053
E-mail: : bwo.gwc@gwt.org.uk

Asst Brigade Welfare Officer: Lt (Hon) Tulbahadur Gurung
Tel No: 01252 310469
Fax: 01252 330053
E-mail: abwo.gwc@gwt.org.uk 

Gurkha Welfare Advice Centre
1st Floor
35-39 High Street
Aldershot
Hants
GU11 1BH

Salisbury

Gurkha Welfare Officer - Capt (Retd) Gary Ghale
Tel: 01722 343111

Assistant Gurkha Welfare Officer - Capt (Retd) Nirmal Gurung
Tel: 08456 046849
Fax: 01722 343118 

Gurkha Welfare Advice Centre
PO Box 2170
22 Queen Street,
SALISBURY
Wiltshire
SP2 2EX.

E-mail: gurkhawelfare@gwt.org.uk

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