Afghanistan veteran with medals and child
11 November 2013

SSAFA takes central role in Remembrance activities

The Remembrance period has seen significant interest in SSAFA’s work supporting our Forces and their families. Catch up with some highlights.

SSAFA takes central role in Remembrance activities

This year’s Remembrance period has seen significant interest in SSAFA’s work providing support for our Forces and their families. Here are some highlights:

The Queen’s Visit

Activities began on Friday morning with a visit from Her Majesty the Queen accompanied by His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh to formally open SSAFA’s new offices in central London. The visit was an opportunity for the our Patron to learn more about our vital work with the serving and ex-Serving community and to meet a number of our beneficiaries, volunteers and staff. Key stories on this include an interview in the Daily Mirror with the family of six year old Harley Inns who presented a Posy to the Queen and broadcast coverage from ITN.

Remembrance Parade

SSAFA also took part in the Annual Remembrance parade on Sunday at the Cenotaph with 36 veterans marching on behalf of SSAFA. As always, our volunteers played a key part in SSAFA’s involvement in the parade. Mr Kevin Trethowan, ex-Royal Air Force of 29 years commanded the parade. Kevin has been volunteering for SSAFA since 1997 and is currently the Service Committee Treasurer at RAF Brize Norton. Our Wreath Bearer was Mr Chris Flaherty. He served in the British Army from 1958 to 1971 in the corps of the Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers and has been a SSAFA Caseworker in the Hertfordshire Branch for 4 years. This was the first year that he had the honour of laying the remembrance wreath at the Cenotaph. Watch the BBC's coverage of the event.

Bryan Adams photography

To coincide with Armistice Day, today sees the launch of a collection of intimate portraits, photographed by Bryan Adams and edited by ITN journalist Caroline Froggatt, depicting British Soldiers injured in Iraq and Afghanistan, sales of which will benefit SSAFA amongst other military welfare charities. The idea for the book began in 2008 at the opening of SSAFA’s Norton House in Ashtead, Surrey. Publicity around the book including interviews with Bryan Adams can be found in this week’s Sunday Times Spectrum Magazine and appearances on BBC1’s the One Show (from 11:55), ITV1’s Lorraine, BBC Radio 5 Live and Radio 4’s Front Row.

Norton House on Daybreak

Meanwhile SSAFA has seen significant wider media interest in our work over the period. As a prelude to the main Remembrance activities over the weekend, ITV Daybreak filmed a live broadcast on Friday from SSAFA Norton House (watch at 22:41 and 1:10:06). The programme’s resident doctor, Dr Hilary Jones, conducted live interviews with Mike Turner, the House Manager and Louise McAneny who is currently staying at the house whilst her partner, Guardsmen John Lawson undergoes rehabilitation treatment at Headley Court.

With our SSAFA Norton House being only a few miles from Headley Court, the coverage focused on the immediate support we are able to provide to our Forces and their families when they are facing a difficult and emotionally challenging time. It also reinforced the practical care and advice we offer families who are staying at the house as they adjust to their new family circumstances.

Makeovers for Military Mums

We have also helped two deserving Military Mums have high profile makeovers in the media. The current issue of Good Housekeeping magazinespanning the Remembrance period includes an interview with Bronwyn Royce – mother of Cayle Royce who was very seriously injured in Afghanistan. Bronwyn and her family stayed at Norton Homes whilst Cayle was receiving treatment. Bronwyn was selected to take part in a luxury break and makeover in London and gives SSAFA a very heartfelt thanks in the article.

The Remembrance Special of ITV1’s Alan Titchmarsh show also saw Fran Shine, whose son was injured in Iraq receive a surprise makeover during the show (watch from 01.10 to 03.40 and 38.00 to 41.20).Fran is the founder and chair of the SSAFA Support Group for Families of Injured Service Personnel.


And finally, this week has seen significant interest in SSAFA’s mentoring scheme which has been the subject of a number of regional radio interviews.