Royal Marines Amputee Ben McBean on Buying his own Prosthesis

Help for Heroes has come under fire from some of Britain’s worst wounded troops, including one of its own patrons, and their relatives, for the way it spends the money it raises

They complain the charity is subsidizing multi-million-pound Ministry of Defence (MoD) building projects rather than spending the money on practical everyday help for injured service personnel and veterans.

The criticism was uncovered by a joint investigation by BBC Newsnight and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism into state and charity provision for injured British troops.

Recently discharged and serving wounded troops and their families said despite extra government money, and hundreds of millions of pounds raised by military charities every year, they are still not getting the help they need.

Bryn Parry, the founder of Help for Heroes, has defended the spending choices saying: “The prosthetic legs that the MoD are providing are top class so that every single serviceman who needs a prosthetic limb is getting it through the MoD and we’re not in the business of providing prosthetic limbs.”

Here Royal Marine Ben McBean, a double amputee and one of Help for Heroes’ patrons, tells Newsnight/Bureau of Investigative Journalism reporter Angus Stickler of the challenges he has faced in getting prosthesis that meet his requirements and what he thinks is going wrong.

Watch the full report on Newsnight, after which Defence Secretary Philip Hammond will be giving his response to the findings, on Thursday 9 August 2012 at 10.40pm on BBC Two, then afterwards on the BBC iPlayer and Newsnight website.

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