Helping those in need at Christmas
2017 Christmas Hampers
Support from an anonymous donor has enabled SSAFA Devon Branch to provide a festive season hamper for over 50 clients across Devon again this year. This is the 9th year that hampers have been provided to disadvantaged SSAFA clients across Devon and delivered by SSAFA volunteers in the lead up to Christmas.
The hampers are made up centrally at Greendale farm shop in Farringdon, and Fine Country Living in Ottery St Mary, Devon and delivered to the nominated clients across the county in mid December. Many moving thank you letters have been received by the charity, testament to the success of the scheme.
The main sponsor of the scheme wishes to remain anonymous but has provided a substantial sum this year to support the purchase of the hampers. Organiser Terry Cuthbertson MBE, the SSAFA Devon Branch Treasurer, supported by his wife Barbara who is also a SSAFA volunteer, is very grateful for the support received from the anonymous donor; without this person’s generosity the scheme would not be possible, he said.
For the fourth year an additional 5 hampers have been received from Honiton based Charity “The Baton”. These hampers will be allocated mainly to disadvantaged, younger clients living in Devon. The founder, and also SSAFA Devon Vice President, Alan Rowe MBE said so many people in desperate situations would not have been helped if dedicated volunteer SSAFA caseworkers had not been involved. “The Baton” is honoured to support SSAFA Devon again in this annual venture.
In addition to the hampers, SSAFA Devon helps a number of younger families by purchasing supermarket Gift Cards, enabling them to have a more enjoyable Christmas. This assistance is made possible by a donation received from the Military Wives Choir from the proceeds of their 2012 No1 record.
We are grateful for the support of our volunteer caseworkers in both delivering the hampers and providing support for the military family.
19240 Shrouds of the Somme Cheque Presentation
Rob Heard and Commodore Jake Moores OBE present the 19240 Shrouds of The Somme cheque to Robin Chambers
SSAFA Devon held its AGM at Wyvern Barracks, Exeter on Thursday 23rd March by kind permission of the Commanding Officers of 6 Rifles and Exeter University OTC.
A minutes silence was observed prior to the meeting to remember Mr Keith Palmer, the policeman and former serviceman, killed whilst on duty at The Houses of Parliament the previous day.
Mr Rob Heard and Commodore Jake Moores OBE presented a cheque to the branch, the proceeds of public donations from The 19240 Shrouds of The Somme exhibition at Northernhay Gardens last year.
Rob Heard, the artist, handmade all the shrouds to commemorate all those who had died on the first day of the Battle of The Somme. SSAFA Devon is most grateful for the general public's generosity and
delighted that Rob Heard subsequently agreed to become a Vice President of our Branch.
Ms Sue Pillar - SSAFA Director Volunteer Operations, Mrs Tina Henry - Devon County Council Armed Forces Wellbeing Partnership, Mr Kevin Jeffery - Chairman TRBL Devon and Mr Pete Hawley - Naval Families
Federation all gave very interesting and informative talks.
Some 30 invited guests attended including The Lord Lieutenant's Representative, the Commandant of the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines and the Chairman of SSAFA Somerset. The Army Benevolent Fund
was represented as were all HMPs in Devon. The Patron of SSAFA Devon, Lord Clifford of Chudleigh presented members with their long service certificates and badges.
This was followed by an excellent buffet lunch.
Do you have what it takes to help make a difference?
SSAFA Devon Branch is looking for volunteers to help with a number of support roles.
Ride to the Somme 2017
Peter French having just completed a training session for the Ride to the Somme 2017
Peter French, SSAFA Devon Branch Training Officer, is cycling to raise funds for SSAFA over 3 days at the end of August. He will cover 240 miles over the 3 days around the battlefields of Flanders, visiting Passchendaele, Arras, Ypres, Beaumont Hamel and Vimy Ridge. The team Peter is cycling with will be paying their respects at some of the cemeteries and memorials along the route, specifically the Devon Regiment cemetery, Menin Gate and the memorial to the 72,000 missing soldiers at Thiepval.
Peter's target is to raise £2000 and to date he has raised just over £800. If you would like to sponsor Peter to help him achieve his target you can do so via the main charity link at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/ridethesomme
Your support for Peter's endeavours would be appreciated.
Torquay Ladies Golf Team Cheque Presentation
Andy Pillar OBE, Chairman SSAFA Devon Branch, receiving cheque from Val Atkinson, Lady Captain at Torquay Golf Club
When Val Atkinson became Lady Captain at Torquay Golf Club in February last year she decided to adopt SSAFA Devon as her charity for her 12 month term. Her choice was influenced by her awareness of SSAFA's role and being a mother of 2 sons who are serving in the REME and have completed operational tours of Iraq and Afghanistan.
During the year Val and the ladies of Torquay Golf Club organised various fund raising events, the proceeds of which amounted to a fantastic total of £3141.40. On the evening of
12 February the Branch Chairman, Brigadier Andrew Pillar OBE, collected a cheque from Val and thanked her and the ladies of the Club for their very generous donation and brilliant efforts on behalf of SSAFA Devon.
Yvonne Smith SSAFA Devon PiR Divisional Secretary, receiving the Darties award from the Governor of HMP Dartmoor.
In December 2017 PiR SSAFA Devon was nominated for, and won, an award from HMP Dartmoor – it is called the DARTIES Award – Dartmoor Awards Recognition Team and Individual Event. The PiR award was for Partnership Working within the prison and with other partner organisations in the prison.
The voting has seven categories and staff vote for their choice. The winners in each category is then given to the Governor and she makes the final choice of winner.
Obviously the awards are mainly geared for uniformed staff and to be nominated as non uniformed was a surprise and to win was an even greater surprise.
The photographs show Yvonne Smith (SSAFA Devon PiR) receiving the award from the Governor of HMP Dartmoor).
The Invisible Enemy
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.