Afghanistan veteran with medals and child

SSAFA volunteers recognised in 2018 New Years Honours

18 December 2017

SSAFA volunteers recognised in 2018 New Years Honours

We are delighted to see SSAFA volunteers recognised for their outstanding work with the Armed Forces in the 2018 New Year Honours.

This year, SSAFA have the privilege of having volunteers recognised in the new year awards, nominated by Lieutenant General Sir Gary Coward KBE CB, National Chairman. Don McPhie has been awarded an MBE while Jean O'Hanlon has been awarded a BEM, both for their tireless contribution to SSAFA.

Mr Don McPhie

Don has been an outstanding volunteer with SSAFA since 2004 filling many appointments in Solihull Branch, including Branch Chairman, but it is his influence on the wider operations of the charity that his contributions have proved truly remarkable.  Beginning in 2010 on his appointment as Region Representative West Midlands, followed in 2012 when he was selected to become a Trustee then, continuing in these roles, from 2014 he also became a member of: the SSAFA Public Awareness Advisory Committee; the Strategic Working Group, developing strategic direction for the charity up to 2020; and Board Member of the Health & Social Care (H&SC) Companies within SSAFA, responsible for H&SC support to over 26,500 Service users in 12 countries. In strategic planning and public awareness matters, representing networks of 6,500 volunteers, he has drawn on his vast experience of the business world and charity work to provide inspired analytical planning for the way forward, and to develop SSAFA campaigns for client reach, volunteer recruitment, corporate profile and a SSAFA marcomms strategy. His involvement at the highest level in SSAFA has been crucial to the successful operation and strategic planning for the charity.     

Mrs Jean O'Hanlon

Some 11 years ago Jean O’Hanlon joined the Wansbeck Division of SSAFA Northumberland Branch as a volunteer caseworker. She has worked tirelessly for the benefit of the serving and ex-service clients of the charity in some of the most deprived wards of the county, which are strong recruiting areas for the Army and have a higher than average population of Service families. Her voluntary contributions to the community go beyond the Services: she also volunteers for the Peoples Kitchen (PK) in Newcastle. Jean organises the parishioners of her local St Paul’s Church at Alnwick in donating food and clothing to PK, driving a 60 mile round trip each week to deliver the church members’ donations to PK staff. She is also the first to visit those people dependent on PK who fall sick, determining the help they might need. As a gifted amateur flower arranger and committee member of the Alnwick and District Flower Club she has produced many floral events and demonstrations for clubs and charities. In 2011 she organised a superb flower festival in Newcastle Cathedral that benefitted SSAFA. This was so successful that in 2016 the Lord Lieutenant and President of SSAFA Northumberland, Her Grace the Duchess of Northumberland, invited Jean O’Hanlon to stage a flower festival on behalf of SSAFA in the State Apartments at Alnwick Castle to mark the centenary anniversary for the first day of the Battle of the Somme. Since the occasion an area in the castle has been set aside for the remainder of the castle opening season with a display arranged by Jean attracting donations for SSAFA of some £500 each month.

Mr Derek Burnett 

Mr Burnett is the Nottinghamshire branch County Treasurer, training officer and caseworker. He has been awarded the British Empire Medal for his services to the community of Nottinghamshire, including his oustanding work for SSAFA, as well as his contribution to the East Midlands ambulance service as a Community First Responder and Broxtow Borough Council as Deputy Mayor.

These people have also received awards:

CVO Guy Clark, Lord-Lieutenant of Renfrewshire and Branch President, SSAFA Renfrewshire and Inverclyde

DCVO Kathrin Thomas, Lord-Lieutenant of Mid Glamorgan and  Branch President, SSAFA Mid Glamorgan