What is SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity?
SSAFA provides lifelong support to our Armed Forces, veterans and their families in times of need. Beginning this vital work in 1885, this makes SSAFA the oldest tri-service, military charity running in the UK. Last year, staff and teams of volunteers helped over 67,000 people – from Second World War veterans to those involved in more recent conflicts and their families.
Image source: www.ssafa.org.uk
Making a practical difference on the ground
It had become clear that everyone faces different challenges, so SSAFA has tailored its approach to meet the needs of today’s serving and veteran community.
Whether it’s practical, emotional and financial help – SSAFA is there to support the Armed Forces family every step of the way.
Craig Mealing, 43, served 23 years in the Army including tours of Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan. He was made redundant in December 2013 but struggled to adapt to civilian life, ending up homeless. He was subsequently diagnosed with PTSD and now uses pottery as a way of coping. Craig was supported by a SSAFA caseworker who was able to source funding for his own potter’s wheel and kiln.
(Cpl) Mandy Small’s husband (Cpl) Chris took his own life in November 2016 leaving Mandy to break the devastating news to their young son. Chris had served 21 years in the Royal Logistics Corp, including gruelling tours of Iraq, Bosnia, Kosovo, Northern Ireland and two of Afghanistan. After he took voluntary redundancy in 2014 he found it difficult to adjust to civilian life and the couple separated.
Mandy, 39, who served 12 years in the RAF Police, has been supported throughout by a SSAFA caseworker who was able to provide vital practical assistance and emotional support. This ranged from sourcing funding to cover funeral costs, to arranging bereavement counselling for Mandy’s young son.
What’s new for 2018?
• Mentoring for those leaving the Armed Forces
A new trail mentoring service was launched on January 11th, working with the Ministry of Defence, Army, and the Career Transition Partnership. The two year trial at Catterick Garrison in North Yorkshire will provide a SSAFA mentor for those who would benefit from additional support in navigating the transition back to ‘civvy street’.
• Join the ranks
SSAFA is always looking for new volunteers across the UK and overseas. More than 6,600 volunteers are at the heart of SSAFA’s work with the Armed Forces family. Meet inspiring people, gain some confidence and learn new skills whilst making a difference.
To get involved head to ssafa.org.uk/newrecruits
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