Our stories

Hear from the SSAFA family

Our stories

  • Chandra

    Meet Chandra

    SSAFA helped British Army veteran Chandra get back on his feet following a tough patch. He is now a SSAFA caseworker himself, helping the local Gurkha community.

  • Walter Richardson

    Walter Richardson

    Injured in Afghanistan and medically discharged after nine years of service, Walter is currently completing a college course to go into social work.

  • Christian Dobson

    Christian Dobson

    Christian Dobson, 34, left the Royal Navy in 2014 after serving for almost 10 years. He now works for an engineering company and is studying part-time for a BSc in Electronic and Electrical Engineering at Robert Gordon University.

  • Mark Smith

    Beneficiary turned caseworker Mark Smith explains how SSAFA's support for him and his family inspired him to give back.

  • Gemma and Louise

    Gemma and Louise

    The couple adopted their 14-month old daughter Lily through the SSAFA adoption service and are now in the process of adopting her younger sister.

  • Malcolm Pratt, 79, has worked as a Treasurer at SSFAFA’s Solihull Branch for 14 years and also a Caseworker for SSAFA’s Birmingham Division.

    Malcolm Pratt

    Malcolm Pratt, 79, has worked as a Treasurer at SSAFA's Solihull Branch for 14 years and also a Caseworker for SSAFA’s Birmingham Division. With a proud family history of military service he believes 'a lot of people don’t realise what our service men and women go through. It’s really rewarding to know that you can give something back to them through volunteering.'

  • Tony Jackson

    Tony Jackson, a retired Chartered Electrical Engineer, has been a caseworker with SSAFA’s Sussex Branch for 14 years. He has no military background but said that hasn’t held him back when dealing with veterans, adding: “You deal with a whole variety of cases and different issues which makes it a very rewarding role for anyone wanting to do some volunteering.”

  • Graham Fowler

    Former Guardsman Graham Fowler followed 25 years in the Army, where he served as both a Regimental Sergeant Major and a Quartermaster, with a second career in facilities management in the City. He has been a volunteer caseworker with SSAFA’s Brighton, Hove & Lewes Division for eight years.

  • Lee Edwards

    Lee Edwards

    Lee Edwards (Cpl), 34, was medically discharged from the Army in September 2016 after being diagnosed with PTSD. He served in Northern Ireland (2001), Falklands (2004), Iraq (2003 and 2006) and Afghanistan (2009 and 2011) during his 17-year Army career which saw him transfer to the Royal Army Veterinary Corps in 2007 to work as a dog handler. With the support of his SSAFA mentor Andrew Hawkes he has now set up a successful dog training and grooming business with his partner Jenna.

  • Mark Stephenson

    Cpl Mark Stephenson

    Cpl Mark Stephenson, 37, a ground electrician based at RAF Wittering sustained a career-ending arm injury in July 2015 after falling and dislocating his elbow and shoulder. The married, father-of-one has been supported through a difficult time by Matt Rowe of SSAFA’s Personal Support & Social Work Service who provided practical and emotional support and also liaised with Mark’s line manager on his behalf.

  • Liam Houghton

    Liam Houghton

    Senior Aircraftman Liam Houghton, 31, sustained life-threatening injuries in a motorcycle accident in May 2014 and has been unable to work since. Liam, who previously worked in logistics at RAF Waddington, has undergone full spinal reconstructive surgery and has been left with short and long term memory problems. He has taken up archery to assist with his rehabilitation and competed successfully at the Air Force Trials in the US.

  • Catherine and Oliver

    Catherine and Oliver

    Catherine and Oliver*, who is a Vibration Analyst in the Navy, have a birth son, Sam, aged seven, and adopted a son, Harry, now 20-months-old, through the SSAFA adoption service in 2015.

  • Paul Moore

    Major Paul Moore, Branch Secretary for Durham Branch

    Paul Moore, 56, served 34 years in the Army, retiring as a Major in 2010. He was in 9 Parachute Squadron Royal Engineers attached to 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment during the Falklands conflict and was involved in the gruelling Battle for Mount Longdon, which saw the loss of 23 British troops. He is now a volunteer Branch Secretary with SSAFA’s Durham Branch.

  • Jason Wheeler

    Jason Wheeler, 43, served 15 years in the Army. He was medically discharged in 2013 suffering from PTSD and depression and became increasingly isolated, shunning contact with the outside world and hoarding rubbish in his flat. When he was burgled in 2015 it proved to be a turning point and a SSAFA caseworker has helped him to look to the future. Jason now uses art to help him focus and recently won the Army Templar Award for soldiers who use art as a therapy for mental health problems.

  • Lydnsey Weller PTSD SSAFA

    Lyndsey Weller

    SSAFA helped Lyndsey successfully retrain as a paramedic after she was medically discharged from the Army suffering from PTSD.