Afghanistan veteran with medals and child

SSAFA Scotland focus on 'working together'

12 November 2014

SSAFA Scotland focus on 'working together'

Over 100 SSAFA volunteers have gathered for the 2014 Scotland Conference. Hosted by SSAFA, it focused on best practice and greater visibility across the Scotland-based military charity sector.

SSAFA Scotland focus on 'working together'

There was no place more fitting than Stirling, the city where this year’s Armed Forces Day was held, for over 100 SSAFA volunteers to gather for the 2014 Scotland Conference. Hosted by SSAFA, it focused on best practice and greater visibility across the Scotland-based military charity sector.

 David McAllister, Chairman of the SSAFA Scottish Resource Committee said: “The conference was an important time for SSAFA volunteers to come together to share experiences, thoughts and also reflect on the work we’ve done with the military community over the last year and identify what challenges lie ahead for those we are here to help.”

“Last year SSAFA supported almost 5,000 people living in Scotland who have a connection with the Armed Forces. We wanted to use this year’s conference to highlight the fact that this is made possible by being so well aligned with the other service charities in Scotland. We were very pleased and thankful that they could spare the time to speak.”

Keynote speeches were delivered by Poppyscotland, Veterans Scotland and ABF the Soldier’s Charity, who each discussed the various challenges facing the military community living in Scotland, and how they were all moving towards a culture of ‘best practice’, in partnership with SSAFA, to ensure the right support is available at the right time.

SSAFA Controller, David Murray, spoke about SSAFA being not only fit for purpose but robust enough to withstand the times ahead as the last of the British combat troops withdraw from Afghanistan.

Major General Andrew McKay, CBE former General Officer Commanding Scotland and Brigade Commander in Helmand Province, put servicemen and women right at the heart of his talk titled, ‘Decisions in complex environments’.

Mr Eric Fraser CBE, the recently appointed Veterans Commissioner also spoke at the event, explaining his role and outlining his priorities, which will involve working with charities, local authorities and health boards to help provide greater support for Armed Forces personnel.

Focusing on the theme of the Centenary, Nancy Johnson, Perth and Kinross Branch Publicity Officer, also delivered a fascinating and insightful presentation on the work of SSAFA in Scotland during WW1.

The two-day conference ended with a Skype call from Tim Farrell, Chief Operating Officer from Operation Homefront, the American equivalent of SSAFA, who provide relief to military families in crisis and recognition for those who have given a life of sacrifice. Tim spoke about early intervention to help transform lives of those who need it following service in the US military.

The conference was expertly planned by a small sub-committee including, David McAllister, Regional Representative Andy Middlemiss, Regional Fundraising Manger Elaine Michaelson, Scottish Treasurer Sarah Hain, Edinburgh Branch Secretary Jennifer Spence and Glasgow Branch
Secretary Russ McMillan.