SSAFA volunteers recognised in 2016 New Years Honours
We are delighted to see SSAFA volunteers recognised for their outstanding work with the Armed Forces in the 2016 New Year Honours.
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Mr Roger Bacon was awarded a BEM for his tireless, innovative and generous support to others as the founding SSAFA Bereaved Families Support Group.
When his son Matthew was killed in Iraq, Roger worked with SSAFA to set up support groups for bereaved families. Despite his own devastating loss, he wanted to do something to help others.
The BFSG now has a membership of well over two hundred families, which is remarkable as it started with just one family, the Bacons. The support group provides the much needed opportunity for the families to meet each other, to reduce their painful feelings of isolation and offer mutual support in a safe and calm environment.
Those attending the group can sometimes forget that Roger is himself a bereaved parent, as he spends his time comforting and looking after them, ignoring his own grief and pain.
His selfless generosity and tireless commitment are the major reasons for the success of the group and a great many other people have benefitted from his quiet but complete dedication to others
Air Commodore Richard Bogg, (known as Dick), Vice-President SSAFA France was awarded an MBE on the NY16 Diplomatic Service & Overseas List for his extraordinary and unmatched contributions to supporting the British Service community in France.
In 2004 he joined SSAFA as one of a handful of volunteer caseworkers in that country, who met or contacted each other occasionally in response to individual requests for help. He quickly realised that to meet an increasing demand for welfare support an organised structure and procedures were needed.
With great foresight, exceptional hard work and fine attention to detail he established a new SSAFA branch covering the Aquitaine region and in just four years their welfare activities increased to helping some 300 members of the UK service community annually.
The branch was such a success that Dick was asked to extend its reach to the whole of France. Not a simple matter, but with superb dedication, energy and enthusiasm this was achieved, including increasing the number of caseworkers to 64, supported by a further 90 volunteer helpers and client visitors, all providing help and advice to former British Service people and their eligible dependants countrywide.
It is due to Dick's dedication and drive that SSAFA France is now one of the most active of the charity’s overseas branches. Dick retired as Branch Chairman in April 2014 and is now an active Branch Vice President and valued source of advice and expertise.
The following SSAFA volunteers have also been awarded for their work:
Colonel Mike Cheetham, awarded an MBE for services to the community in Derbyshire. He joined the Derbyshire Branch in February 2005 as the Branch Fundraising Officer, he then took on the role of Branch Secretary in October 2005 and continues in both roles today.
Mrs Jean Tulloch, HM Lord-Lieutenant awarded a CVO for service as Lord-Lieutenant. She joined the Dumfriesshire & Stewartry Branch in 2008 as the Branch President and continues in the role today.