Peterborough boy given room of his dreams
SSAFA Branch supports veterans and their families and in 2016 we were able to help transform the home of five year old Sam Owens.
Samuel lives in Peterborough with his Mum and Dad and suffers from a brain malformation which causes him problems with mobility and frequent seizures meaning he requires round the clock care. As Samuel got older, his parents were keen to turn a room downstairs into his bedroom with an attached shower room to make life more manageable for the family. Peterborough City Council was able to provide £30,000 towards the work and SSAFA Branch Cambridgeshire supplied a further £10,000 grant as Samuel's Dad, Nicky Bowles, had served in the Royal Engineers for eight years completing tours of Afghanistan and Kosovo.
Samuel's mum, Susan, said: “Sam struggles with stairs, and we would have to carry him – it wasn't too bad when he was a baby, but it has become more difficult as he's got older. The room has given him a real bit of independence. He loves his room, and the freedom it has given him. We can’t thank Peterborough City Council or SSAFA enough. We knew the work had to be done, but not every family has £40,000 lying about for work like this. We would not have been able to get the works done any where nearly as quickly if we did not have the support.”
Homeless veteran in Cambridge given immediate support
SSAFA Cambridge recently received a request for assistance for a client who was homeless in Cambridge and who had been sleeping in shop doorways.
The veteran had become homeless following a relationship breakdown coupled with substance abuse.
Using our experience and contacts, SSAFA spoke to London based military organisation who had the live in medical facilities required to resolve the chemical dependency. The same organisation also had re-habilitation facilities.
The client was collected in Cambridge and we arranged for his safe travel to London. We have since received confirmation that the client arrived and has started his path to total recovery.
The whole process took less than half a day.
A SSAFA spokesperson stated, "This is what we do , and it is just the case of knowing which buttons to push."
Dad completes SAS Fan Dance Challenge in June heatwave
Nicky Bowles raised more than £500 for SSAFA Cambridgeshire after completing the infamous Fan Dance Challenge.
Setting out on the Breacon Beacons in the unforgiving June heatwave, Nicky Bowles made us all proud by completing the gruelling SAS Fan Dance Challenge to raise money for SSAFA Branch after we helped him and his son earlier this year. So far Nicky has raised more than £500 and is hoping to raise £750 in total. Find out more about Nicky's story and donate to his challenge here https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/nicky-bowles?utm_source=Facebook&...
MadDog Airsoft raises £700 for SSAFA
MadDog Airsoft nominated SSAFA Branch Cambridgeshire as their charity for the annual war games.
More than 120 people took part in the event which took place in Brampton. All entry fees and proceeds from a charity draw and auction went to the Huntingdon and East Cambs division of SSAFA Branch Cambridgeshire, with nearly £700 raised to support veterans and their families in the local area. A huge thank you to everyone who took part! You can find out more about MadDog Airsoft on their Facebook page www.facebook.com/maddogairsoftground/?fref=ts
St Ives couple receive SSAFA support
This year, we helped a wonderful couple from St Ives, Cambridgeshire. We are sharing their story to show the variety of ways that SSAFA can help veterans and their families in times of need.
Mr M was a RAF veteran and had emphysema which left him housebound. We received a call from his wife in 2015 who asked if we could help them buy an EPV (Electrically Powered Vehicle) so Mr M could regain some freedom outside the house. We arranged an assessment and then worked with the Royal Airforce Benevolent Fund to source the funding for the EPV.
We also applied to the landlord for permission to put up a shed to house the vehicle, as well as arranging for funding for the shed, a suitable pathway and an outside electrical supply to be installed.
Following a serious accident at home in December 2015, Mr M was admitted to hospital and finally discharged to home in January 2016 with palliative care and no hope of recovering. Realising that, because her husband had dealt with all financial matters, no money or arrangements had been made for his imminent funeral, Mrs M contacted SSAFA for advice.
SSAFA helped Mrs M to apply to the DWP for a Funeral Grant from social funds to cover half the costs and worked with the Royal Airforce Benevolent Fund and The Royal British Legion to fund the shortfall.
SSAFA then guided and helped Mrs M to apply for a state and service widow's pension, a reduction in her rent and council tax and helped her negotiate the cheapest tariff for her gas and electricity supply, coupled with advice to change her a water meter to further reduce her outgoing costs.
SSAFA Branch Cambridgeshire is here to help all veterans and their families in the county during times of need. If you or someone you know could use our support, please get in touch today.
Volunteering in Cambridgeshire
Become a caseworker
If you live in Cambridgeshire, Peterborough or the Fens and have some spare time to support military veterans in the region, then becoming a SSAFA caseworker could be for you.
Our caseworkers travel across the region meeting military veterans and their families to provide advice and support. This rewarding role is an opportunity to offer your time and expertise to benefit those in your community, as well as to develop new skills and meet some inspirational people. All our Caseworkers receive full training including local induction training about SSAFA. You do not need a Forces background to volunteer with us.
We are a friendly team who work hard and love what we do. So if you're interested in joining us, get in touch today.
Read more about SSAFA caseworkers here. www.ssafa.org.uk/volunteer/volunteer-veterans/caseworker