SSAFA Glasgow volunteer writes poem about support for the Armed Forces
Isabel Ryrie, a volunteer at our Glasgow branch, has been with us for 12 years and has written a lovely poem about the work she and so many others do with SSAFA.
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Volunteers are at the heart of what we do. SSAFA are very lucky to have a family of dedicated, compassionate and determined people who help to support our Armed Forces, veterans and their families. We chat with Isabel about her poem (see below) and her experiences as a volunteer with us:
How long have you been volunteering with SSAFA? Why did you choose SSAFA?
I started volunteering for SSAFA in 2006 (12 years!). I chose SSAFA because I have many members in my family who served, and was raised to have the utmost respect and gratitude towards our Armed Forces and veterans.
What has been the most rewarding volunteering moment during your time with SSAFA?
I have had many rewarding moments with SSAFA but there is one that stands out:
I remember helping a 45-year-old veteran who had served for over 20 years and was struggling to adjust to civilian life (as many of them do). He was reluctant to speak at first so I visited him a few times allowing him to take it at his own pace. He was unemployed at the time and I could see he was troubled but with help from SSAFA, he obtained employment, gained confidence and self-worth and was able to maintain a great relationship with his two sons despite his divorce. A few years later at an Armed Forces Day event, I met his new partner and sons. He said to me that his partner and SSAFA saved his life and they all gave me a big hug. I was so humbled and delighted seeing this veteran so happy – that was reward enough for me.
What inspired your poem?
I have been writing poetry since I was young and I am always inspired by something touching or sad. After a few years of volunteering with SSAFA and visiting war graves in France (where I also wrote and left a poem), I just started writing this poem about SSAFA.
If someone is thinking about volunteering with SSAFA, what would you say to encourage them to do it?
I often encourage people to volunteer with SSAFA by explaining what we do and how rewarding it is to help our Armed Forces and veterans who have sacrificed so much for all of us. Sometimes people just need a helping hand and the more volunteers we have, the more we can reach out and help those still serving and ex-servicemen. It’s a great way to show our appreciation for their service, plus you meet so many lovely, dedicated and friendly people through SSAFA.
We are here for serving forces
And those who served before
We will listen with an unbiased ear
To what you need us for
Be it for child, a woman or man
Any help you ask from us
We will do everything we can
So to our ex and serving forces
We thank you one and all
If you are now in need
Don't hesitate, please call
If you've been inspired by Isabel, her poem and her experiences as a volunteer, and you are interested in volunteering with SSAFA, please visit our Volunteer page to find out more.