From 1885 to the present
Helping veterans and their families every day with Practical, emotional and financial support plus much more. Working to meet individual needs. Times change but the need doesn't
Military Wives Choirs
Bedfordshire supports this great initiative and hopes every success in harmony
Military Wives Choirs is a charity that brings women in the military community closer together through singing. We support over 70 Military Wives Choirs and over 2,000 members based in British Military bases in the UK and overseas.
We are the only organisation in the charitable sector that is solely committed to improving the wellbeing of women in the military community.
Being part of a Military Wives Choir makes a positive difference to women’s lives by improving well-being, building friendships and developing skills. We work to strengthen and sustain our network of choirs for the benefit of generations to come, wherever our Forces and their families are based.
As a subsidiary of SSAFA, we are working side by side to support and strengthen the wider Forces family. The Choirs Support Team is based on the 2nd floor at SSAFA’s head office and delivers support to choirs through a range of activities and services.
They have sacrificed a great deal and deserve our support.
This month, SSAFA is highlighting one area of Veteran’s realities that do not always get acknowledged; Loneliness and isolation - the invisible enemy faced by many veterans every day. With over 41% British Armed Forces veterans surveyed saying they have felt lonely or isolated at some point since leaving the military, and over a quarter admitting to having suicidal thoughts after finishing their military service.
Find out more and donate at www.ssafa.org.uk/fight to help SSAFA reach more veterans who have served this Nation; they have sacrificed a great deal and deserve our support.
Awareness and fundraising at Houghton Regis
SSAFA Bedfordshire regularly attend events around the county.
One such event was the Houghton Regis Festival it is a fun and well-attended day, supported by local businesses and community groups. The strength of the local community is easily seen as visitors wander around the stalls meeting neighbours and friends and lending support to good causes. The SSAFA stall receives many visitors who regale us with their stories of military service and comradeship. This year we spent some time chatting with a member of The Royal British Legion Bikers, who updated us on their activity and his time in the Army.”
As each year passes our connection with Houghton Regis grows stronger and it is not unknown for SSAFA to generate casework from this event.
Awareness evening at Bedford Blues Rugby Club
Bedford SSAFA was very pleased to be part of the evening Rugby match held at the Bedford Blues ground.
The awareness team spent the evening spreading the SSAFA message and enjoying the rugby. A great success for both SSAFA and the Blues.
Awareness day supported by 22 SQN Air cadets
Members of Bedfordshire SSAFA Awareness team and Sandy 22 SQN Air cadets collaborated to achieve a very successful day of raising the SSAFA profile within the local area.
The Air cadets, under the leadership of Jeffrey, Squadron Adjutant, worked tirelessly bag backing customers shopping and looking very smart wearing SSAFA tee shirts. Every SSAFA bag had a pamphlet in it to explain how SSAFA can help and support veterans and their families in the Bedfordshire area. At the same time members of the SSAFA awareness team spoke in depth to numerous shoppers detailing how we support veterans and their family within the community. A massive well done to the Air cadets and thanks to the generous shoppers at Tesco’s Sandy Bedfordshire.
Volunteering in Bedfordshire
Volunteering can be a rewarding experience
I have been a SSAFA caseworker and fundraiser for just over 12 years, but I am now reducing my casework as I am 80 and need to slow down.
I still help with fundraising as I enjoy it and there are not so many fundraising volunteers now. I have enjoyed my time doing both voluntary positions.
Casework is a very rewarding experience and I meet lots of different people.
Some clients need more help than others but it is good to help everyone and I get the satisfaction of being able to help them in their time of need.
I have supported a man of 100 who was immobile and only sat looking out of his window. I was able to arrange the purchase of a more comfortable chair for his use. He was very grateful and continued to enjoy watching the world go by.
I visited a man who had PTSD and would not go out in public. I sat and listened to all he had to say about his past experience, some of it not very pleasant to hear. Part of his problem was he had little money and therefore would not go out with his friends because he could not pay his way. His friends understood his situation and were willing to pay for him but he was too proud to let them do so.
I was able to arrange for some “pocket-money” for him so that he could join his friends. I went to see him on two occasions later and he was coping much better. His mother told me she was very grateful for the visits because his confidence had grown and he had found employment.
These are just two examples that demonstrate SSAFA’s work and how we can make a difference to people’s lives, no matter their age or when they served in the military.
I was not involved in the Armed Forces previously and I knew nothing about SSAFA until I joined as a volunteer.
All the volunteers are from very different backgrounds but we have a good team spirit and I have made new friends as we go about supporting those in need.