Red Cypher was officially founded on 20th April 2015, taking its name from the red backing worn behind the cap badge (or cypher as it is known) of 3rd Regiment Royal Horse Artillery soldiers, which distinguishes them from all other Regiments in the British Army.
The idea for the charity came from Brian O’Neill BEM, who was chairman of the Past and Present Members Association at the time, and along with others, including Jeff Smith MBE, Robert Lodge MBE and Yeoman Warder Andrew Shedden created the foundations upon which the charity now exists. Prior to the charity’s creation, there had been numerous occasions where a request for assistance has been put out to the PPM community and help or support was found, generally within days if not hours. One such occasion a veteran with quite significant health issues was living in accommodation which wasn’t best suited to his condition. Support was sought from The Royal British Legion, but due to a clerical error, the request wasn’t processed. When a fellow veteran found out, he put together some costings for the work required and put an appeal out for funds so the work could be undertaken.
Within a few days, around £3500 had been pledged by members to cover the cost of the work to be done, meanwhile enquiries were made at a senior level with RBL to see what the holdup was on the paperwork. Those enquiries proved successful and the work was subsequently commissioned and funded by RBL to make the accommodation more suitable for the veteran. This left a conundrum, as the money pledged for the work was no longer required, but members were happy for the money to be kept and used if an issue like this arose in the future for other veterans who may require support.
Brian, along with others investigated and then created the framework upon which Red Cypher now exists, forging a strong relationship with the serving Regiment to ensure the charity could encompass both past and present members of 3rd Regiment Royal Horse Artillery and their dependents. All monies pledged to support the veteran was transferred into the Red Cypher bank account to provide capital for the first grants provided by the charity.
Currently serving members of the Regiment donate monthly to Red Cypher through a Give As You Earn scheme. Many veterans also donate monthly to the charity, meaning we have funds to support our work. The charity is run by volunteers and we have no paid employees so donations can be spent supporting our comrades. You can find out a little more about our current veteran trustees HERE.
We work in partnership with the Royal Artillery Charitable Fund and SSAFA in delivering on our charitable purposes.