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Aldershot Town & Farnborough
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Phone - 07807 668 398
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Phone - 01420 541 537
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Gosport & Fareham
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Phone - 02392 484 773
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Phone - 02392 177 610
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Earl of Carnarvon made Honorary Vice President of Hampshire Branch
THERE THEN HERE NOW
Following the incredibly successful Battle Proms event held at Highclere Castle eralier this year, the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon invited SSAFA to participate in 'Heroes at Highclere' to honour the fallen of the First World War.
During the planning stages of the event, Lawrence (Ash) Ashbridge, Publicity Officer for the Hampshire branch found in the Flagbook archives, that the Fifth Earl of Carnarvon was a Life Member of SSAFA Hampshire.
The Fifth Earl's association to SSAFA also came as a wonderful surprise to Lord and Lady Carnarvon and further embellished his already well-known philanthropic service. Further discussions with Lady Carnarvon revealed that when all the men working on the Highclere Estate went to fight in the war, the Fifth Earl continued to support their families financially. This would have helped their morale immeasurably knowing their loved ones were being cared for whist they fought at the front.
Speaking of the appointment, Patricia Lyons, Chairman, SSAFA Hampshire, said: "We are extremely honoured to have the Earl of Carnarvon come on board as an Honorary Vice President of SSAFA Hampshire branch. It is wonderful to be building on the history of the Carnarvon family supporting SSAFA – and this is an exciting new chapter we are entering."
In accepting his new honorary appointment, Lord Carnarvon, said: "I am delighted to be carrying on my family's legacy of supporting SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity. I look forward to working more closely with the team in the coming months."
About the 8th Earl of Carnarvon:
George Carnarvon is the 8th Earl of Carnarvon and lives at Highclere Castle with his family. Highclere Castle is a country house in the Jacobethan style by the architect Charles Barry, with a park designed by Capability Brown. The 5,000-acre estate is in Hampshire, England, about five miles south of Newbury, Berkshire. The Highclere Estate farms just over 2,000 acres in Hampshire and has a large flock of pedigree Lleyn sheep. Crops include oats for horse (and human) consumption, milling and feed wheat, barley, haylage, linseed and oil seed rape. Highclere Castle is recognised worldwide as the venue for the award-winning TV series Downton Abbey.
For more information visit www.highclerecastle.co.uk or Twitter (@HighclereCastle), Facebook @HighclereCastle and Instagram (@highclere_castle).
Spotlight on SSAFA Gosport & Fareham Awareness & Fundraising Team
Quiely getting on with promoting SSAFA week in week out!
The Volunteer Awareness & Fundraising Team from Gosport & Fareham are doing sterling work in their local community. Quietly getting on with events throughout the year that slowly and surely raise the profile of SSAFA the Armed Forces charity. Team stalwarts are Gill and Pat. Gill ensures the Divisional Office is administered as well as planning the local awareness/fundraising events. Pat (pictured) helps to raise awareness, fund raise and is also a volunteer Visitor! At a recent Tesco Whiteley event our profile was not only promoted more but generous donations of £110.00 were also received. Thankyou Tesco Whiteley, your staff and of course the great British public!
Tears and Laughter with Monty Halls!
£1500.00 raised for SSAFA Winchester
Monty Halls (former Royal Marine) gave an utterly inspirational talk at an event organised by SSAFA Winchester last night. A cross-section of folk from across the County including veterans, Reservists and serving soldiers from the Army Training Regiment listened intently. Monty spoke about his TV programmes "The Freedom Trails" and "My Family and the Galapagos". We all laughed and cried and were simply enthralled by Monty's passion for living the day! The Go-To man for inspirational speaking!
SSAFA Hampshire at Downton Abbey!
Heroes at Highclere help support SSAFA Hampshire
SSAFA Hampshire enjoyed a glorious weekend at ‘Heroes at Highclere’ over 8/9 September as guests of Lord and Lady Carnarvon. The aim of the event was to remember and celebrate those that had served and saved during World War 1. In doing so, a number of Service and Civilian charities from the UK were present (SSAFA, Sepsis Trust, Combat Stress, RAF Benevolent Fund, Medecin Sans Frontieres, RAF 100 Appeal and the RBL) as well as staff from the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors based in the USA. Over the weekend there was fantastic array of stands to enjoy and sights to see including The Red Arrows and lots of celeb spotting from Downton Abbey stars to Olympians. The SSAFA Hampshire stand had a steady busy cohort interested to hear more about the work we carry out, seek advice on becoming volunteers, catch a SSAFA merchandise bargain or simply have a SSAFA selfie taken with our Selfi Board and WW1 helmets! We were also grateful to General Sir Andrew and Lady Gregory for spending so much time at the stand engaging with the team and finding out more about the individuals, our case load and meeting the public at our stand. The whole event would not have been possible without the kind support from Lord and Lady Carnarvon and their team – nothing was too much to ask and we enjoyed being part of such a well organised, poignant and meaningful event that ‘Heroes at Highclere’ truly was.
Case Study: Karl Tearney – Apache Pilot to Writer and Poet
Please take some time to read Karl's inspirational and moving story
Mike Sibbons, Divisional Secretary SSAFA Test Valley, first met Karl Tearney at the 11 Brigade Personal Recovery Unit (PRU) in Aldershot on Exercise Bull Accord in 2015, just prior to his medical discharge from the Army, due to PTSD. Karl followed up with a request for SSAFA support and Mike arranged for one of his Test Valley caseworkers, Roger Clift, to visit him with a view to supporting him and referring him to the SSAFA Mentoring team. Karl’s story is quite inspirational:
He joined the British Army as a Junior Leader at 16 years of age, electing to become an Army Air Corps soldier - he had always harnessed a desire to fly. He served for 34 years, 25 of which were as an Army pilot. On reaching the rank of Warrant Officer Class 1 (WO1), Karl declined a commission because he felt strongly that his efforts to educate other pilots were best met as a Warrant Officer. He specialized in Aircraft Survivability ensuring both Aircraft and Aircrew had the correct equipment and training to allow mission efficiency. He taught most Army pilots these skills, including Captain Windsor (HRH Prince Harry).
During his career he deployed to Northern Ireland, Former Yugoslavia, Iraq and Afghanistan, which all had both positive and negative impacts on the way he viewed humanity. This eventually led to a breakdown of his mental health and he was medically discharged in 2016.
Karl takes up his story:
“During my discharge period I met with my local SSAFA Test Valley team who sought to provide me with whatever help they could. I was visited regularly and they helped me seek the funding for specialist sports equipment, as I had various financial woes following the loss of my career.
The thing I took away most of all from my SSAFA support was just how interested they were, not only in my medical symptoms, but also in providing a friendly face. That was worth so much to me at a time when I felt vulnerable and was hemorrhaging friends, who seemed to be overwhelmed with confusion by my sudden behavioural differences.
I spent time in a Mental Hospital, as well as countless hours with psychiatrists and psychologists, but I just wasn’t getting any better. In fact, I would say I was actually getting worse. I had heard of the term treatment intolerant, but I felt my condition of PTSD was the result of so many traumatic incidents, that it became impossible to isolate or identify each and every one of them.
It was suggested by a friend that I should write a journal entry each day and bulletin the bad thoughts, but always finishing on a good point. I couldn’t find a good point on any entry, but didn’t wish to give up. One day I was sitting near a river and saw a willow tree - it reminded me of myself. It looked so sad and forlorn, yet underneath there hid the strength of a wooden trunk. I wrote my first poem about that tree.
I have subsequently written a poem every day since and now have well over 500 logged carefully on my computer. I have been published internationally; and written a children’s poetry book with the Style for Soldiers charity, which was given to hundreds of children who had battle injured parents. I have also been invited to RADA; the Hay literature festival; written and published the poem for the RAF 100 centenary; written two songs for the Invictus Choir; and will shortly exhibit work in London (I am being sponsored by Style for Soldiers for 12 months in the lead up to an exhibition later this year), as well as reading at the Shakespeare Theatre.
I promote art as a therapy as I realized that, for me, it is the most compassionate thing I could do for myself, whilst also bringing pleasure to others. My work will be on display at the Pall Mall Galleria (Art in the Aftermath sponsored by Style for Soldiers) in November 2018, alongside 3 other injured veterans who also use art in recovery.
My journey this past two years since discharge has been difficult at times, but with the support of charities like SSAFA and Style for Soldiers providing encouragement and a friendly smile, I have found something new and rewarding to focus on. I would suggest others who are suffering, or feel at odds with who they are right now, try art of any kind - write, paint, draw, sculpt, build anything and see how your mind feels afterwards.
Thank you SSAFA Test Valley”.
Karl’s work can be viewed on his website: www.willowtreesociety.co.uk
the name of which was, clearly, influenced by the special moment of writing his first poem on the river bank. Life has changed dramatically for Karl. However, his mental health problems have brought about a new found enthusiasm for poetry and prose and, in his own words:
“I hope that my words may soothe fellow sufferers whilst educating those impacted by loved ones with mental illness”.
Karl’s very moving RAF 100 Centenary poem can be heard on the youtube clip below:
SSAFA Hampshire - here to help.
South Western Railways awareness day raises a whopping £1,565.65!
Annual train train station awareness/collection day raises profile of SSAFA across the County!
SSAFA Hampshire's second annual train awareness and fundraising day took place across Hampshire with 7 of our 10 Divisions taking part at their dates during June and July. The event proved to be yet another fantastic awareness opportunity raising our profile and an outstanding £1,566.65 was received in kind donations from the commuting public of Hampshire.
This was another massive SSAFA Hampshire team effort from our brilliant volunteers however the day would not have been possible without the kind permission of South Western Railways - thank you for the opportunity. Pictured are Terry, Sharon and REME the Dog, East Hants Division at Alton Station and Rob from our Winchester Division.
SSAFA Aldershot support BFRS Careers Fair 24 January 2019
Normandy 1944 - A Legacy to the 43rd Wessex Division 7 March 2019
Local History group supports awareness of SSAFA