Your local Armed Forces and veterans need your help

Your local Armed Forces community needs you!

11 March 2016

Your local Armed Forces community needs you!

SSAFA has seen an increase in need for support from the Armed Forces community in specific areas of the UK.

Today, in a bid to meet the increase in need, we are launching a search in those areas of the UK with the greatest need to find new recruits to join our ranks of dedicated volunteer caseworkers.

Our network of volunteers which supports serving personnel, reservists, veterans and their families, has seen an increase in requests for support since 2013 in many areas of the UK with the number of home visits rising by some 147 between 2014 and 2015% in one region.

The six areas identified with the greatest need for new caseworkers are Cornwall, Devon, Tyne and Wear, Derbyshire, Lancashire and Reading, with some twenty plus other regions also looking to recruit volunteers to help the local Armed Forces community.

SSAFA is the oldest national tri-Service charity in the UK, supporting some 55,000 people in the Armed Forces community each year. Our volunteer case workers support members of the Armed Forces community in a range of ways, including:

  • visiting them in their homes, assessing their needs,
  • assisting with house adaptations for a service man or woman injured whilst fighting for their country,
  • raising the rent for a young veteran unemployed and struggling to transition from military life to civilian life,
  • befriending a lonely, elderly veteran and providing them with some much-needed company,
  • support with issues such as homelessness, marriage breakdown, debt and mental health problems.

We expects the increase in requests for help to continue to grow due to the ageing population of the UK and an increase in younger veterans from more recent conflicts, and their families, coming forward for help. In 2005, 25% of the beneficiaries SSAFA supported locally across the UK were under 60 years of age, ten years later; this figure has risen to over 40%.

Sue Pillar, SSAFA Director of Volunteer Operations and former Army Lieutenant Colonel said: “Not only have we seen the needs of the local Armed Forces community increase significantly in many areas, but their welfare needs have become more complex. As a result we desperately need more local volunteers to help our local Armed Forces community.

“SSAFA predicts that the welfare needs of this community will continue to grow as World War Two veterans are now getting well into their 90s. At the same time, the impact of recent conflicts on our younger veterans and their families continues to make itself known.

“If we take a moment to think about the courage shown and the sacrifices made by our Armed Forces whilst serving our country, it is shocking that we still see veterans of all ages, and their families, struggling.

“SSAFA is looking for anyone willing to help provide a lifeline to veterans and their families who are in need. Men and women who have served with our Armed Forces have given so much through service, and their families have supported them through their careers; it’s now up to us to support them when they need us.”

Find out more about joining your local SSAFA team, to give something back to the Armed Forces community in your area.