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Local branch contact details
Please contact your local division directly using the numbers below:
Aldershot Town & Farnborough
Phone - 01252 347 656
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone - 07807 668 398
Email - email@example.com
Phone - 01420 541 537
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Gosport & Fareham
Phone - 02392 523 401
Email - email@example.com
Phone - 02392 484 773
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone - 07712 569016
Email - email@example.com
Phone - 02392 177 610
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Southampton (inc Eastleigh)
Phone - 02380 770 640
Email - email@example.com
Test Valley (inc Andover & Romsey)
Phone - 01264 352 981
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone - 01962 851 315
Email - email@example.com
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SSAFA Winchester support Living History
Normandy 1944 - a Legacy to the 43rd Wessex Division
On 7 March 2019, SSAFA Winchester was honoured to provide an awareness stand at a talk hosted by the Worthy’s Local History Group, held at St Mary's Church, Kings Worthy. Lt Col (Retd) Ian Holmes’ excellent illustrative talk was entitled "Normandy 1944 - A Legacy to the 43rd Wessex Division” and was based on his interviews from 2009 with members of the 43rd Wessex Division. The Division was a Territorial Division that served with distinction in the Second World War on the Western Front from June 1944 until May 1945, suffering heavy casualties but gaining an excellent reputation. The guest of honour for the evening was Bill Edwardes who was the last Chairman of the 43rd Wessex Association. Bill, (93) was incredibly humble and ended his Q&A session with: “we were just a bunch of lads doing our job!” The Association was formally closed in 2009 with a Service in Exeter Cathedral followed by a Dinner in The Guildhall. The Association Standard was subsequently laid up in Exeter Cathedral.
The now 43rd Wessex Heritage Trust has accepted an invitation from L'Association ODON-COTE 112 to jointly celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the successful taking (and holding) of the strategic Hill 112, near Caen, on 7th July this year. Bill will be present as will only 2 or 3 other veterans from the 43rd Wessex Division. The present day formation is Headquarters South West and the staff of the HQ proudly wear the same Wyvern tactical recognition flash worn by the 43rd Wessex Division. The HQ will be celebrating the campaigns of 43rd Wessex Division in various commemorative events in the South West and in France this year.
The talk brought many sectors of the community together to remember those who fought in Normandy as well as raising the profile of the work of SSAFA the Armed Forces charity. £70 was also received in kind donations on the night. SSAFA Winchester was represented by Noel McCleery, Divisional Secretary and Lawrence ‘Ash’ Ashbridge, Caseworker' - Ash also serves as an Army Reserve officer in Headquarters South West.
Pictured are Lt Col (Retd) Ian Holmes, Bill Edwardes and Lt Col (Retd) Noel McCleery.
Thank you Tony Coleman
SSAFA Fundraiser sadly passes away
Tony Coleman was a volunteer for the Rally for Heroes team who had sadly passed away unexpectedly from a pulmonary embolism on 20 November 2018.
Tony was one of life’s hard workers; after a long day in his garage vehicle repair business he would spend further hours setting up fundraising events and sourcing amazing attractions. He once turned up to a local car show with a F1 Racing Car in Rally for Heroes and SSAFA livery, which drew crowds of people keen to know more about the charity and help donate. Tony was more than just a fundraiser with the Rally for Heroes team. He understood the group’s commitment to help and support families and veterans effected conflict and needing support. Living near Andover and Tidworth, he was in daily contact with our Service community and had great respect for the men and women who were based there. A quote from Mark Ellcok, a friend on the rally was: “Tony always went above and beyond what was required, always going one step further. He would do anything for anyone, always willing to help, often at cost or significant effort. Nothing was too much trouble. A true gent who will be sorely missed”.
Following Tony’s Memorial Service, his wife, Christine and her family wished that SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity benefit from the donations made. Lt Col Ash Ashbridge received the donation of £1,041.66 on behalf of Hampshire Branch of SSAFA the Armed Forces charity and said "I had the pleasure of meeting Tony at one of our events at Thruxton Motorsport Centre. We are so grateful for the support from Rally for Heroes and to receive such a significant donation in memory of such a wonderful man as Tony is truly humbling."
How and why did SSAFA start?
Social Media worked in 1885 as it does today!
On 13th February 1885, a letter from Major James Gildea appeared in "The Times" suggesting a fund to educate the children of soldiers killed in the Sudan. This was the spring board that launched SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity - James Gildea was so insightful to use the most powerful social media tool available in 1885! What a fantastic legacy the (later) Sir James has provided to the Military Family for over 130 years.
Want to know more? https://www.ssafa.org.uk
SSAFA Aldershot support British Forces Resettlement Services Employment Fair
SSAFA Aldershot support results in £500 donation
British Forces Resettlement Services (BFRS) British Forces Resettlement Services is a Social Enterprise created to help the Armed Forces Community with their transition into civilian life. BFRS run various events across the UK that include National Employment and Careers Fairs, the latest being held in Aldershot on 24 January 2019. For these events BFRS request the support of the local SSAFA team and yesterday SSAFA Aldershot had an early start to assist the BFRS team in the Networking area providing refreshments to exhibitors and attendees. The SSAFA team led by Terry Reeves and Bob Megarry prepared somewhere in the region of 500 cups of tea and coffee! The team felt the event certainly raised the profile of SSAFA and received many appreciative comments on our work. To top the event off Dominic Hamberg (R) from BFRS presented Bob Megarry a cheque for £500.00. Thank you British Forces Resettlements Services )https://www.bfrss.org.uk/ ) for being such a fantastic supporter of SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity!
A moving story from SSAFA Test Valley
Devon and Dorset Regiment Veteran gains a new lease of life thanks to SSAFA Test Valley
Army Veteran Ken who had served in the Devon and Dorset Regiment approached SSAFA Test Valley to ask for help with the purchase of a mobility scooter and funding towards a wet room.
Ken suffers from a severe back problem, which affects the use of his arms and legs and causes him considerable pain. His mobility is deteriorating, as is the use of his hands. Life was becoming increasingly limited and difficult. Always trying to be positive, Ken wanted to be able to go out and about, help his wife with shopping and chores and maintain his independence as much as possible.
Ken had received some funding towards the wet room from a disability facility grant from his local council, but needed more to complete the wet room conversion. He also needed help with funding for a EPV mobility scooter. This was when Di Gibson our SSAFA Caseworker jumped into action.
Di was instrumental in securing funding from his now regiment, The Rifles, as well as The Royal British Legion. We are very happy to confirm, that with this funding, Ken now has a new wet room and a mobility scooter as well as access ramps to his house, giving him a new lease of life.
Before these were available to him, Ken said: “It was hell. I struggled to walk anywhere really. Now I can hop on the EPV and do anything, it’s a godsend. And that wet room, marvellous! Now I can be independent.”
Ken’s son, Kenny was so appreciative of the support his father received from Di and the SSAFA Test Valley team that he is planning to undertake a sponsored event in aid of SSAFA in 2019!
This shows great understanding and commitment from our team, and it’s great to how much of a life changing difference this has made to Ken and his family
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).
Come and meet the team while you shop!
SSAFA Test Valley at Wartime Wallop 27 May 2019
Come and meet SSAFA Test Valley at Wartim Wallop!
SSAFA Havant celebrate 75th Anniversary of D Day at Southwick
Battleproms at Highclere Castle 3 August 2019
Battleproms at HIghclere Castle (the real Downton Abbey!)
SSAFA Hampshire at the Romsey Show 14 September 2019
Com and meet the team at the Show!