Afghanistan veteran with medals and child
15 April 2014

SSAFA brings together bereaved military families in Leeds

Families from across the UK gathered to share the pain of bereavement through military service. The families attended an event organised by our Bereaved Families Support Group.


SSAFA brings together bereaved military families in Leeds

Families from across the UK gathered in Leeds this weekend to share the pain of bereavement through military service.

An act of remembrance took place at St John the Evangelist's Church, Leeds on Saturday 13th April where a service was held in the church followed by the laying of flowers. Over 200 bereaved families were present.

The event to remember loved ones and offer support was organised by the Bereaved Families Support Group, a network for families of the fallen in association with SSAFA.

Present was David Driver from Barnsley. David is Chair of the Bereaved Siblings Support Group which forms part of wider Bereaved Families Support Group. David lost his twin brother Captain Martin Driver from 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment. Martin died in Selly Oak Hospital on Monday 15 March 2010 from wounds sustained from an IED blast in Afghanistan 21 February 2010.

David commented on the meeting in Leeds: “The effects of bereavement on family and friends lasts a lifetime. The support group meetings are vital as only those who have been through the terrible experience of losing a loved one can understand the effects of such a loss. The expectation can be for people to move on but that’s far easier said than done.”

Jane Barnes facilitates the group on behalf of SSAFA. She commented: “We hold these meetings regularly at different locations around the country. They offer a chance for people at different stages of the grieving process to share their thoughts and emotions in a safe and supportive environment.

“The group supports both combat and non combat deaths. As British forces withdraw from Afghanistan and we move into a period where our military are not so much in the public eye, we should not forget all those who have died while in service and their families.”

Find out more about our Support Groups for Forces families.