Afghanistan veteran with medals and child

SSAFA Mentoring Scheme given a £50,000 boost

With a grant from The Freemasons’ Grand Charity

26 January 2015

SSAFA Mentoring Scheme given a £50,000 boost from The Freemasons’ Grand Charity

We are delighted to announce that SSAFA has been awarded a grant from The Freemasons’ Grand Charity to support the development of our mentoring programme from wounded injured and sick soldiers.

George with his SSAFA mentor David

SSAFA is delighted to announce that we have been awarded a grant of £50,000 from The Freemasons’ Grand Charity. The grant will go towards the recruitment of two new regional co-ordinators to spearhead the expansion of our mentoring programme for wounded, injured and sick soldiers making the transition from the Armed Forces into civilian life.

SSAFA Director of Fundraising Deborah Easlick said: “This funding from The Freemasons’ Grand Charity will help us expand our work pairing service leavers who are possibly at a difficult crossroads in their life with someone locally who can use the benefit of their experience to provide really meaningful advice and direction.”

Laura Chapman, Chief Executive of The Freemasons’ Grand Charity said: “I am thrilled that we are able to help SSAFA to expand their successful mentoring programme, especially as support for the men and women of the Armed Forces is incredibly strong amongst Freemasons. I am confident that the new regional coordinators will help a great many servicemen and women to regain a positive outlook and view their future with optimism.”

Support for transition

The mentoring programme provides one-to-one support during transition out of the Armed Forces and for a minimum of a year afterwards. Mentors help service leavers who may be adjusting to the challenge of managing an illness or disability to achieve personal goals and come to terms with life outside the Armed Forces.

Our mentors, like all SSAFA volunteers, are fully trained and carefully paired with a mentee. The service is accredited by the Mentoring and Befriending Foundation and works in partnership with the Defence Recovery Capability to provide the service.

Meet George and David

George Norton is a 32-year-old former Sergeant who was medically discharged from the Army following a serious wound sustained in Afghanistan. He has been paired with his mentor David Falcke, also an ex-serviceman, who following his time in the forces became an MOD media officer and now writes for his local newspaper on military matters.

Talking about the difference mentoring has made to his life, George said: “David, my mentor, just gives me another perspective on my life and where I see it going. He has a bit more life experience and a wise head to talk things through. He can say to me 'have you tried looking at it like this or like that’, he helps me to explore ideas and come up with new plans. He's helped me find a new direction when I haven't always known where to turn."

David Falcke said: “George is very independent; he takes the lead on what he wants from the partnership. I'm here for him as much or as little as he needs. The funding from The Freemasons’ Grand Charity will let others like George benefit from being paired with a mentor in their region who can give them a bit of perspective from someone with a few years experience to give them some guidance at a time when a lot is going on in their lives.”