Get in touch
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 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 Test Valley help dreams come true
Moving Casework Story
In September 2017, the Divisional Secretary SSAFA Test Valley (Mike Sibbons) was approached by Steve Kirk, ex-Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment (PWRR), with a rather unusual request - funding for a trip for his wife in a hot air balloon! As Mike said at the time, under normal circumstances, this is not something that we would consider. However, our caseworker, Scott Campbell, soon ascertained that Steve’s wife, Marie, was, sadly, very ill and a hot air balloon ride was on her ‘bucket list’. SSAFA Test Valley immediately supported the case and put a funding request to the PWRR Benevolent Fund, who responded with a generous grant of £700. Steve decided to augment the grant from his own resources to make the event even more special for Marie. On 4 May 2018, Marie had her wish come true, with a personal hot air balloon flight, complete with a glass or two of Champagne! The photograph shows how very much the flight meant to both Marie and Steve. Our sincere thanks to the PWRR Benevolent Fund (Tigers in both name and deed) for supporting this rather unusual, but very special, funding request.
SSAFA Hampshire at Thruxton Motorsport Centre at 50!
A great 2 days of SSAFA awareness at Thruxton
Thruxton Motorsport Circuit marked its historic half-century in style over 2/3 June, serving up a feast of high-octane entertainment for an appreciative, sun-kissed crowd in the presence of some of motor sport’s biggest names such as Nigel Mansell and Murray Walker. Thruxton’s 50th Anniversary Celebration feted five decades of the UK’s fastest motor racing circuit, with fans pouring through the gates of the popular Hampshire venue to lap up a bevy of retro races, spellbinding high-speed demonstration runs, spectacular aerial aerobatics from the world-famous British Army parachute display team the Red Devils. SSAFA Hampshire was fortunate enough to attend the event and had a glorious weekend of raising awareness of our charity to many Hampshire locals and visitors from further afield. £200 was also received in kind donations.
Thank you for the opportunity Thruxton.
Pictured are the Red Devils Parachute Team visiting out stand with our very own Tom and Sue Clarke.
From Case to Caseworker
Please read Grant's inspiring story .........
SSAFA Caseworker and former Soldier opens bespoke law firm in Andover
Alma Law is the brainchild of Grant Evatt. They specialise in serious personal injury claims and fatalities and have a unique talent in representing injured military personnel, veterans and their families. The firm provides a high-quality, ethical service to ensure that each one of their clients receives the very best advice and support.
Grant enlisted in 1983 as just another fresh faced 16-year-old in the Junior Leaders Regiment RA. After his year at Bramcote Barracks, Grant volunteered for Commando Forces. He passed the All Arms Commando Couse at the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines and served exclusively with 29 Commando Regiment RA where he was trained to become an alpine and jungle warfare specialist, Platoon Weapons Instructor, Military Skiing Instructor and Parachutist. Injury caused him to prematurely end his military career and, after a year working as a commercial deep-sea diver in Hong Kong, he returned to the UK to embark on a less hazardous profession as a Lawyer.
In his last year in 29 Commando, Grant had completed an Open University Foundation Course in order to satisfy UCAS ‘A’ Level entry requirements and he was accepted by Bournemouth University to study Business Law.
After a difficult but positive First Year as a student, Grant made contact with SSAFA in Poole to enquire about the possibility of funding towards the purchase of compulsory legal text material. SSAFA went the extra mile. They not only obtained a Student Bursary for the expensive books for year two and his final year, thanks to the Royal Artillery Charitable Fund, SSAFA were additionally able to raise sufficient funding to cover his rent for the next two years. This meant that Grant could give up his part-time retail and driving work and concentrate fully on his legal studies.
An LLB (Hons) degree in Business Law and Law College in Guildford was to follow and Grant qualified as a Solicitor in 2002.
“I promised SSAFA that, once established, I would repay them and so I am especially proud to devote my spare time as a Caseworker and fundraiser for SSAFA Test Valley, Hampshire, where I am able to share the skills and knowledge that I have learned with my colleagues and, more importantly, our deserving beneficiaries. My military experience has been instrumental to my life and if I had my time again, I wouldn’t change a thing.”
Grant has worked at some of the most distinguished law firms in the UK and is very passionate about helping people, especially servicemen and women, who have suffered serious injuries to rebuild their lives. He is an accredited specialist with both the Law Society and the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers. He would be delighted to support your casework; no obligation and in strictest confidence.
Alma Law Ltd
Andover SP10 1PA
T: 01264 355477
An Evening with Monty Halls in aid of SSAFA Winchester 27 September 2018
Come join Monty Halls and SSAFA Winchester for a great evening!
Career Transition Partnership Employment Fair 11 October 2018
Come and visit the SSAFA Awareness Stand at the CTP Employmen t Fair, Ageas Bowl, Southampton