Armed Forces Day Dacorum
The SSAFA Stall
Gerry Jugoo assisted by his family organised the SSAFA stall at the Armed Forces Day show on 1 July 2017. There was SSAFA merchandise to sell as well as many SSAFA pamphlets; balloons; flags and pens given away to those who showed an interest. Indeed many who passed recognised SSAFA as having help them in the past and called to have a chat. Others who passed, and even though they did not immediately recognise the brand gave generously, helped to fill the buckets and went on their way having a better idea of what we do. Fortunately the weather was good and the Jugoo family assisted by Jean and Ian Stewart from the Watford Division plus Graham, the Chairman all had an enjoyable day. Though fund raising as not the main object we nevertheless grossed some £232
Christmas Lunch, Branch AGM and Training Day
IWhilst we all work from home there are times when we meet as a Branch. At the end of last year we met for our Christmas Lunch which was attended by 24 members and their partners/guests. On that last occasion we said goodbye to our out-going President the Reverend Teddy Faure-Walker. This year our Christmas Lunch will be held on Wednesday 6 December.
The Branch AGM was held on Monday 20 March at the Homestead Court Hotel. Our new President Councillor Teresa Heritage chaired the meeting. The AGM reviewed our activities for the previous year and scrutinised the accounts. Simon Blum the Central Office Financial Director was the guest speaker. On completion members moved to the dining room for lunch.
Finally each year we hold a training day to update members on changes to procedures and regulations in the social charity sectors. Guest speakers are invited to cover specialist aspects and especially changes to benefits and allowances. The next training day will be held on Wednesday 8th November.
An Introduction to the Branch
The Hertfordshire Branch of SSAFA does not have an office as we all work from our homes. Under Teresa our president, the membership consists an executive team consisting of a branch chairman; a branch secretary and a branch treasurer, under them the county is divided into five divisions (or areas). They are: Dacorum; Watford; Welwyn and Hatfield; East Hertfordshire and North Hertfordshire. Each division is run by a divisional secretary (or manager) and has a number of caseworkers who live in the area. A divisional treasurer looks after the finances.
When we hear that a veteran; their wife/partner or family are experiencing difficulties we ask a caseworker to call and assess the situation. The caseworker will record the details of the problem and the family situation and may provide advice and attempt to rectify the situation, if necessary, by applying for funds from appropriate grant giving charities. Such funds might help towards the replacement of a fridge or cooker, repair a boiler or provide a riser/reclining chair.
If you are a veteran or were married to one and have a problem give us a call on 01923 606220 and we can put you in touch with a SSAFA volunteer who lives near and can visit.
An Introduction to those who run the Branch
Our President is County Councillor Teresa Heritage, who until recently, chaired the Hertfordshire Armed Forces Covenant Board
The Chairman is Graham who after training as a civil engineer became a pilot in the Royal Air Force. After leaving the RAF he edited doctrine publications before joining SSAFA in 2002.
The Branch Secretary is Jim who was commissioned into the Royal Artillery, leaving after 7 years to become a head hunter in the City. He joined SSAFA in 2014.
The Branch Treasurer is Amanda who joined SSAFA in 2015 from the financial side of the IT industry.
The divisional secretaries are:
Keith for Dacorum. Keith joined SSAFA in 2013 after a career in Sales and Marketing in the Food Manufacturing industry.
Jean for Watford. Jean was a Service wife married to Ian who flew in the RAF as an Air Electronics Officer.
George for North Hertfordshire. George is a former Regimental Sergeant Major in the Grenadier Guards now works in electronics.
At present we do not have divisional secretaries for Welwyn and Hatfield or for East Hertfordshire. These divisions are temporarily run by the Branch Secretary.
Why Not Join Us
What you can do to help
If you feel you would like to assist in helping veterans and their families who have fallen on difficult times why not get in touch. We are always on the lookout for volunteers. You need not have served or have a connection with the Armed Forces - only a few of our members do - but there are enough of us around to provide advice.
To be a caseworker one needs to feel comfortable meeting people in their homes and making notes of their problems. You need to have access to a computer to be able to transfer the notes you have taken onto a SSAFA form for transmission to appropriate grant giving charities. On the job training is given which includes a 3 day course normally conducted in London. All expenses that you incur in being a caseworker are paid by SSAFA.
A divisional secretary acts as a coordinator between the branch secretary who receives appeals for help and the caseworkers in the division. The secretary is assisted by the divisional treasurer.
A treasurer need not be an accountant but just comfortable with numbers. The work merely involves running an account recording funds received for clients and assisting in the payment of goods bought to help clients. Though the task could be completed using pen; paper and a calculator, training can be given on a bespoke Financial Management System run by SSAFA which simplifies the tracking of the money. The treasurer holds accounts at a local Nat West bank.
We are also interested in anyone who is prepared to fundraise, or promote SSAFA within the County or even just visit veterans who would like to chat - they can be very interesting to talk to!
Presentation of the Prince Michael Award
Presentation of the Prince Michael of Kent Award
On Thursday 21 September Jean and Ian Stewart were presented the Prince Michael Award by the Prince himself in Kensington Palace. The award recognises both Jean's 20 years as a divisional secretary and Ian's 19 years as a caseworker which included 10 years as the Branch Chairman. Jean and Ian were given lunch at the RAF Club by the National Chairman Sir Garry Coward and the Vice Chairman Kirsty Bushell before moving to Kensington Palace to meet the Prince and receive their award.
Vounteering For SSAFA In Hertfordshire
There are a number of vacancies in the Branch for volunteers. These range from divisional secretaries and treasurers to caseworkers. Some roles can be conducted mainly from home while others require the use of a car. All volunteers need to have access to and be able to use a computer. All expenses are paid. Tuition, advice and coaching is given for all roles.
Divisional Secretaries (managers) can generally work from home co-ordinating case activities with occasional need to accompany caseworkers on visit a client. They liaise with the divisional treasurer on financial matters.
Divisional Treasurers do not need an accountancy background but are happy working with figures using a bespoke SSAFA system. They record the cash flow in the division and work from home liaising with the divisional secretary and caseworkers.
Caseworkers visit clients in their home, talk over and record the client's problems before returning home to write up the case, and, using a bespoke on-line system, transmit their report to appropriate charities that may be willing to help.
For more information please contact Jim, Graham or Amanda on 01923 606220 or firstname.lastname@example.org