Malcolm began working at SSAFA’S Solihull Branch after standing in for a friend as an auditor. Fourteen years on, he continues to give up his own time to provide support to veterans and their families living in his local community.
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Malcolm has a strong family history of military service. His father, George Pratt, served in the Coldstream Guards before and during the Second World War. "He was just 27 years old when he was killed," reflects Malcolm. "I was only 20 months old and my sister had just been born when he was deployed to France. I have two photos of him – one when I was about a year old and another which had all four of us with my father in his uniform. That picture was the last time we were all together as a family." George Pratt was tragically killed in Dunkirk in May, 1940.
Malcolm's four uncles also served in the Army and Navy during the Second World War, with Norman Pratt receiving the Distinguished Service Medal for bravery and resourcefulness on active service at sea. His grandfather also received the Military Medal for Bravery during the First World War.
Given his family's military associations, Malcolm is particularly proud to volunteer with SSAFA, the UK’S oldest national tri-service Armed Forces charity. In his role as a caseworker, Malcolm has been able to see first-hand the difference SSAFA makes to the lives of those in need.
“In our branch at the moment, we are supporting night-time care for a 105-year-old lady who was a Captain in the Auxiliary Territorial Service during the Second World War," says Malcolm. "She was in control of an anti-aircraft unit which downed a German plane. It's an honour to support her now.
"While the cases can sometimes be challenging, it is just lovely to be in a position to help those who would never expect it. I will volunteer with SSAFA for as long as I am capable. 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."