SSAFA flying high with new funding

01 December 2023

The Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund (RAFBF) is the first port of call for RAF families when things go wrong, but, in the era of collaboration and mutual help, military charities work together to provide top rate services for the Armed Forces community. In this instance, the RAFBF have provided funding to SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, so it can continue to offer specialist services to all service personnel.

SSAFA is grateful to the RAFBF for their generous donation of more than £20,000 in 2023 to support their Mentoring service and Norton House. This is part of a total grant of over £60,000 to support mental wellbeing services over three years.

Irene Greenwood, RAFBF Welfare Programmes Manager, said: “Working closely with military charities is an essential part of the Fund’s support to the RAF Family, allowing us to deliver a wide variety of projects which underpin their aims to improve the lives of their serving personnel and their families.

“The work that SSAFA undertakes is vital; even more so during these uncertain times globally and the Fund stands by ready to help wherever we can.”

SSAFA’s Mentoring service assists service personnel if they are struggling with any aspect of leaving the military and moving into civilian life. Mentors come from all kinds of backgrounds and are based throughout the UK.

Katherine Houlston, from the Army Families Federation, recently gave insight into why SSAFA Mentors are so important to service leavers and their families: “It’s not just the service person who can be institutionalised. Families move around, following the service person’s career. Service life becomes their way of life over decades. To move away from this lifestyle can be traumatic and difficult for everyone involved.”

Mentoring is a voluntary role which is supported by full training, including a Level 2 qualification in peer mentoring, meaning that volunteers are trained to deliver an outstanding service.

When a military family gets the call to say their serving loved one is seriously injured or ill, the last thing they should worry about is how they will stay close to them during treatment and rehabilitation, or how they will pay for it. SSAFA’s Norton House offers free home-from-home accommodation near the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre (DMRC) for the family of serving personnel who need to use the military hospital. The funding from the RAF Benevolent Fund helps towards the running costs of Norton House.

Jonathan Sandall, Director of Fundraising, Marketing & Communications at SSAFA, said: “SSAFA is very appreciative to the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund. The donation will help support our Mentoring programme that aims to provides long-term, one-to-one support for service leavers during transition and up to two years post-discharge.

“The monies will also fund our vital work at Norton House, Stanford Hall which provides accommodation and respite for the friends and family of service men and women who are undergoing treatment for illness or injury at the neighbouring DMRC.”

Please feel free to call our Forcesline if you need any support.

0800 260 6767

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