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 & Responsibilities
The role of the Gurkha Welfare 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 organisations 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, The 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 Centre has two offices -- an HQ in Salisbury and a 'Forward Operating Base' in Aldershot. Enquiries should generally be directed to the former in the first instance.
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, 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 Support Office 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 Ministry of Defence 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 Army Benevolent Fund, 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 Centre at Salisbury, with a reinforced office in Aldershot (based on the former Gurkha Welfare Support Office). The joint centre aims to assist both Gurkhas already settled in Britain and those newly-arrived, if they run into difficulties.
To find out about applying for welfare please contact:
Headquarters - 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 Centre
P.O. Box 2170
22 Queen Street, Salisbury,
Forward Operating Base - Aldershot
Brigade Welfare Officer -- Capt(Retd) Mahendra Limbu
Tel: 01252 315884
Assistant Brigade Welfare Officer -- Hon Lt(QGO) Tul Gurung
Tel: 01252 329460
Fax: 01252 330053
Gurkha Welfare Centre
Aldershot Community Centre
Aldershot GU11 1BZ
Life in the UK
As a result of recent legislation, many more former Gurkha soldiers are now able to settle in the UK. View our comprehensive guide about life in the UK to help you decide whether living in the UK is the right choice for you and your family. Download here