army dad holding his young daughter with his wife standing by his side, all smiling

Bedfordshire

We can Help

Support for the armed forces in Bedfordshire

We help veterans and service personnel, and their families, in the local community and we rely on public donations to continue our work. Our commitment is to provide support with experienced, non-judgemental and friendly advice, as well as a variety of practical services which cover a range of social, family and financial issues.

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Local branch contact details

Contact Details

Email: Bedfordshire@ssafa.org.uk

Phone: 0800 500 3063

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Phone: 0800 500 3063

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Latest

  • 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

    It’s what we do …

    I’m always amazed going about SSAFA business the number of people who will come up to the SSAFA stall and shake our hands and say thank you for helping them or their family in the past.
    Recently, a guy came up to the SSAFA stall and thanked me for helping his brother. A few years ago his brother had come out of the Army and needed SSAFA’s help to get accommodation, furniture and other stuff. This simple act of doing what we’re doing left an impact on his brothers’ life and the life of the family.
    This guy then went on to tell me how that he had developed lung cancer and now had cancer of the brain. I listened as he said that he and his partner had decided to get married because of his health but did not have the finances. The brother that SSAFA had helped was now in a financial position where he was able to help pay for the wedding; the guy reiterated that without SSAFA’s help his brother would not have been able to help him and that how indirectly SSAFA was helping to pay for his wedding. I thanked the guy for the story and for the encouragement.

    When we within SSAFA get involved and help one person it has a ripple effect on the Clients’ family and friends; this story will echo many of the cases we get involved in.

  • Dunstable Truck Festival

    Waving the SSAFA flag at the Truck festival

    It’s what we do …

    I’m always amazed going about SSAFA business the number of people who will come up to the SSAFA stall and shake our hands and say thank you for helping them or their family in the past.
    Recently, a guy came up to the SSAFA stall and thanked me for helping his brother. A few years ago his brother had come out of the Army and needed SSAFA’s help to get accommodation, furniture and other stuff. This simple act of doing what we’re doing left an impact on his brothers’ life and the life of the family.
    This guy then went on to tell me how that he had developed lung cancer and now had cancer of the brain. I listened as he said that he and his partner had decided to get married because of his health but did not have the finances. The brother that SSAFA had helped was now in a financial position where he was able to help pay for the wedding; the guy reiterated that without SSAFA’s help his brother would not have been able to help him and that how indirectly SSAFA was helping to pay for his wedding. I thanked the guy for the story and for the encouragement.

    When we within SSAFA get involved and help one person it has a ripple effect on the Clients’ family and friends; this story will echo many of the cases we get involved in.

  • 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.

  • A letter from a grateful ex-serviceman in Bedfordshire

    A letter of thanks from an ex-serviceman, it's great to know SSAFA can help

    Nothing was too much trouble …
    My name is Richard, I was in the RAF for 16 years and left in 1980; after which I settled in the Bedfordshire area. The following is an account of how SSAFA helped me by being there when I needed them and how they have continued to help me.
    Four years ago I lost the love of my life and soul mate (whom I still miss very much); I felt that I’d hit rock bottom. Whether it was the loss of my wife or related stress my kidneys failed so I had to go to the hospital for dialysis three times a week. The dialysis hit me hard, after dialysis I was very tired and had to sleep for the rest of the day. The Renal Social Worker in the Hospital spoke to me and asked me if I would like a Visitor from SSAFA. She then contacted SSAFA to see if they could send someone around to visit me. Consequently, he has visited me regularly.
    On one visit, I’d received a note from the Housing Agency that I was in debt, I gave Bob the details, and he contacted the Agency that was chasing me; the Agency then sent me the details. Bob asked if it was okay for a SSAFA Case Worker be assigned and visit me, consequently, both he and the Case Worker (Bev) turned up to assist me on how to complete the various forms.
    Bev also found a lovely home for my two birds, this puts my mind to rest that they would be going to someone would be talking to them all day and give them the freedom they had in my home. In addition to dealing with the Housing Agency, Bev was also able to get me funding for a new washing machine and microwave.
    When I was offered a one bedroom flat, some of the guys from the Veterans Breakfast Club, Bob and his wife also volunteered, moved me out of my old flat to the new one. The flat is in a complex with a number of other elderly residents, this has given me a community where we can meet and chat.
    SSAFA were there for me in my time of need, nothing was ever too much trouble for them; as I’ve moved into my new place they’ve supplied me with new cooker, carpets and paid for the van to move me. My new flat looks amazing!

  • 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.

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Volunteering in Bedfordshire

Volunteers welcomed

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.