voluneer mentor with armed forces leavers

SSAFA searches for volunteers to mentor our Armed Forces

1 June 2016

SSAFA searches for volunteers to mentor our Armed Forces

This Volunteers' Week SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, is urgently looking for mentors to support local Armed Forces leavers as they make the transition to civvy street.

SSAFA is calling upon motivated individuals to join its ranks and be paired up with a military service leaver.

The role of a SSAFA mentor is to listen, support, motivate and inspire those who have served their country as they make the transition back into civilian life.

The journey to ‘civvy street’ can be a difficult time for some ex-troops as their employment, living arrangements, financial stability, support networks and personal lifestyles all change rapidly, and at once. SSAFA’s mentoring service aims to step in and offer support at this critical time to service leavers, veterans and their families by assigning them a SSAFA volunteer mentor.

Karen Oldfield, Head of Specialist Services, SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, said:

“As the only national military charity that has witnessed both World Wars and every conflict since, experience tells us that leaving the Forces can be extremely challenging for some ex-servicemen and women and their families. The transition period is the point where many welfare issues seem to really start to impact on lives.

“Our servicemen and women are trained to be the fittest and toughest versions of themselves, taught to cope under immense pressure and rightly revered by their families and friends; having to ask for help at any point often proves a real challenge, one which SSAFA sees them grapple with time and time again.

“At a time where so many aspects of their lives are changing, SSAFA’s mentoring program aims to motivate, support and empower those who are leaving the Forces to achieve their true potential outside the military.

Our Forces have been there for us, doing their duty on our behalf to keep us safe, it is now our time to give something back and help them come home.”

The SSAFA mentor will work with them for an hour each week for 12 months with the aim of supporting them through their transition via practical guidance and an empathetic shoulder to lean on.

The mentor will offer unconditional and consistent collaboration to help draw on the service leaver’s own strengths and develop their own strategies, supporting them to achieve their personal goals.

SSAFA is looking for mentors of all ages and all backgrounds. Training will be provided and each mentor will be carefully paired with a mentee and continually supported by a team of SSAFA mentoring coordinators.

The SSAFA mentoring program works alongside the Army, RAF, Royal Navy and other key partners to help individuals transition out of the Armed Forces, no matter the circumstances of their discharge – whether leaving on a medical discharge, being an early service leaver or if they have come to the end of their career.

The areas of the UK with the greatest need for volunteers mentors are; Cornwall, Devon, Kent, North Wales and Chester, Lancashire and Preston, Sheffield, South and East Yorkshire, North Lincolnshire, North Nottinghamshire, Moray, Aberdeen and Norfolk.

Find out more or sign up to mentor a service leaver.