29 August 2017
Albert was recruited directly from St Lucia to serve in the British Army. On leaving the Army he came to London to work but became destitute when his leave to remain in the UK was rejected. He turned to the West Indian Association of Service Personnel (WASP). They gave him food from FareShare to help him out of crisis, together with the support he needed to get back on his feet.
Albert served in the British Army as a Chef and saw combat in Afghanistan and Iraq. When he left the Army in 2012 he came to London to take up work as a Chef in a restaurant. He had assumed that, having served in the British Army, he had the right to live and work in the UK. However, his application for indefinite leave to remain was rejected. As a consequence, he had to stop working while he appealed the decision.
This resulted in Albert and his young family becoming destitute and he turned to WASP in Clapham for support. WASP gives support to British Army veterans of all backgrounds who are facing tough times. When Albert was in crisis they gave him food parcels from their Food Bank, which is supplied by FareShare London. In addition, they provided him with legal support on his immigration appeal.
Crediting WASP and the food from FareShare with getting him back on his feet, Albert says “This food has saved my life and I think it will save other people’s in the future. I was in the position that without food from FareShare and the West Indian Association of Service Personnel I would be begging. The food helps me and my family survive. In the future I want to volunteer at WASP and be part of it – maybe volunteering in the kitchen!”
WASP support former service personnel, from any background, who are homeless or struggling to find employment. Their food provision goes hand in hand with emotional, physical and practical support. They also support older veterans facing loneliness with sit-down meals and enthusiastic sing-a-long sessions that bring people together.
WASP’s Steve Evans explains “Using FareShare cuts down our food bill. The money we save goes into our benevolent fund, a fund to help destitute soldiers with essentials like transport, clothing and finding somewhere to live.”