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Local branch contact details
Monday to Friday 09.00-17.00 All case referrals should be emailed to the Branch Secretary at email@example.com
Phone: 01622 792 363
Do you need help or welfare support
Phone: 01622 792 363
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Would you like to use your spare time to help others?
SSAFA Kent currently has vacancies for volunteers.
Could you make a difference to your local Armed Forces community?
We are looking for inspirational people willing to spare some time to give back to those who have given so much for us. Willing to provide support, advice and care to our Armed Forces and their families, or simply willing to spend some time with a lonely veteran who may not have anyone to talk to.
As a result of restructuring to increase our effectiveness, we are currently seeking people to fill the following vacancies.
A Divisional Secretary for a new Ashford Division
A Treasurer for a new Ashford Division
A Divisional Secretary for Canterbury Division
Caseworkers for both areas
A multitalented admin person to assist our branch secretary
For further details please telephone 01622 792363 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
It will be great to hear from you.
Royal Green Jackets Regimental Association support Whitecliffs and New Romney Division
Robin Aaronricks, Divisional Secretary for Whitecliffs and New Romney Division, recently received an invitation to attend a meeting of the Royal Green Jackets Regimental Association, South East Kent Branch located in Deal. The purpose of the invitation was to present Robin with a cheque for £500 for SSAFA raised by the RGJA through donations.
The above photo features the cheque being presented to Robin by the Chairman of the RGJA, Mr Bob Newman, other members of the Association are in the background. Also in the photo is SSAFA Case worker Ray Seabrook who is ex Royal Green Jackets.
Robin looks justifiably pleased with himself, as well he should. Being new to the post of Divisional Secretary it is hugely encouraging to receive such positive support from a local regimental association, long may it remain.
Kent Branch annual Bazaar and Curry Lunch 8 Nov 2017
Yet another successful Curry Lunch
A long standing tradition in Kent and a highlight of the fund raising year is the annual bazaar and curry lunch held at Brompton Barracks, Chatham. Organised by the SSAFA Kent Appeals Committee the event has been running for 15 years in it’s current location. Invitations are sent to well over 250 potential guests and as we are only able to seat 184, the event is always oversubscribed, places are allocated on a strict first come basis, and there is always a waiting list.
It is a full day as the lunch is preceded by a bazaar which is held in the auditorium. Opening for business at 10.30 and comprising 24 carefully selected stalls with a whole variety of specialist products, varying from artisan bread and cakes, to specialist gins; leather goods; Christmas cards (SSAFA of course); jewellery; books; specialist fudge, to name but a few. Needless to say this has become hugely popular over the years, mainly because the principle organiser, Mrs Deedle Clarabut – Catmur, puts a huge amount of time and effort in finding the best products and the right people. There is of course the opportunity to purchase raffle tickets, the raffle comprising of exceptional prizes including lunch at two top Kent restaurants, theatre tickets, a beautiful basket of Christmas produce, a tour of the Shepherd and Neame brewery, all organised by committee member Mrs Gill Yerburgh.
Lunch is served in the most impressive officers mess. Three courses, with wine. A cold smoked salmon starter, a curry main with all the trimmings and a choice of desert. Tables are beautifully presented complete with regimental silver on each table. Seating 10 or 12 guests at each table, every effort is made to ensure invited guests sit with their hosts. A great many people have been attending for many years and are of course ardent supporters of SSAFA. This year’s guest of honour was our President and Lord Lieutenant of Kent, Viscount De L'Isle MBE
Lunch concludes with coffee, the raffle is drawn with the resulting very happy winners. Our branch chairman, Simon Sanderson says a few words on the current state of SSAFA Kent and thanks all concerned with the organisation. General opinion and feedback was an absolutely terrific day.
We are able to hold this event at Brompton by kind permission of the Commandant, Brigadier Bazeley and we are most appreciative of the continued opportunity to do so. Our thanks go to the soldiers on base that assist in many ways and special thanks to the chefs, mess team and mess management for an absolutely cracking day.
The Royal St Georges Permit Holders Golf Club, Captains Charity.
As previously reported, SSAFA Kent was selected by Simon Saint, the 2017 Captain of the RSG Permit Holders Club, as one of two charities to benefit from a year long range of events intended to raise money for the captains selected charities. The second charity to benefit is Martha’s Trust, a local children’s charity.
Simon and his wife Jane, plus club colleagues have run a series of events through the year culminating in a Charity Gala evening held at St Mary’s Sandwich at the end of September. We are delighted to report that Simon and his team raised a massive £9,140.00 which was evenly divided between the two charities. Our branch chairman, Simon Sanderson attended the cheque presentation and received £4,570.00. for SSAFA Kent.
A huge vote of thanks from SSAFA to Simon Saint, his wife and colleagues for achieving such a fantastic result.
The Aged Vets Event
British Nuclear Test Veterans Association hold talk
An aged Veterans event organised by Royal British Legion Industries was held on 11th December 2017 at the Capel Morris Centre, RBLI Village Aylesford.
The main purpose of the event was a talk by British Nuclear Test Veterans Association (BNTVA)
who where formed initially to campaign for recognition and restitution of our servicemen who participated in the British Nuclear Tests.
The British Nuclear Testing Programme ran between 1952 and 1967, it was the largest Tri-Service operation since the D-Day landings. Over 20,000 servicemen participated in the weapons tests with the majority serving on Christmas Island in the Pacific.
The event was well attended with six veterans, who took part in the tests, families of deceased veterans and other interested parties.
As part of the event various welfare organisations attended including SSAFA (Kent) who had stands
to offer advice and support to any veteran and family members.
As part of BNTVA services they have created a Care Wellbeing and Inclusion Fund. This fund has helped many members of the nuclear community with purchases ranging from small kitchen appliances through assistance to attend community events to the creation of wet-rooms and provision of respite holidays. They will assist veterans their children and if necessary Grand-grand Children.
Div Sec Maidstone and the Weald
New EPV for Ernest.
SSAFA gets RAF WW II Bomb Aimer on the move again!
Bomb aimer Ernest Townsend of RAF Bomber Command, was in the news recently when he was presented with the Legion d’Honneur, the highest French honour, in recognition of his wartime exploits. Now, thanks to SSAFA, Ernest is the proud possessor of a brand new mobility wheelchair – an Electrically Propelled Vehicle (EPV). His previous EPV was also provided for him through SSAFA some years ago. Both vehicles were paid for by the RAF Benevolent Fund.
Ernest’s first EPV was given to his wife, June, who still uses it. Recently, June gave a talk to children at Lansdowne Primary School in Sittingbourne about her experiences as a war-time evacuee. Subsequently, she received ten letters of appreciation from the children, which she treasures.
Ernest described graphically to Paul what it was like to be a bomb aimer over Germany in 1944-45, ‘Cramped, uncomfortable and very, very cold, with a frightening view of the German anti-aircraft flak trying to shoot us down.’ He continued by saying, ‘but when I was lying flat on my belly in the nose of the Lancaster bomber I was in charge. The pilot did what I told him!’ He recalled vividly the great relief when the bombs had been dropped and they could turn for home.