SSAFA Visitors provide support to isolated people living at home or in residential care. Whilst a friendly chat about the old days over a cup of tea is an important aspect of the role you will also be able to recognise any other support needs and explore how to link your client into their local community. 

With the gift of time and a listening ear, you can improve someone’s quality of life for far longer than the hour or so you might spend with them. We need you to join your local SSAFA team to help us to help more people!

Why do we need you?

We’ve been supporting the Armed Forces community for more than 130 years. Our clients come from all backgrounds and age groups, some people become isolated from family, friends and local services; older people may not have the same local networks as when they were younger. With the gift of time and a listening ear, you can improve someone’s quality of life for far longer than the hour or so you might spend with them. We need you to join your local SSAFA team to help us to help more people!

When would you be needed and where would you be based?

The essential part of the role is visiting clients, so you will need a driving licence and access to a vehicle or another way to travel to meet clients at home or elsewhere.

Some volunteers will visit more people than others. Whilst you will visit a client on a regular basis for a period of time you will not be developing the kind of relationship where you would provide personal care, handle money or support someone in an emergency. SSAFA can help clients to arrange other types of support if needed.

What can you gain from this volunteering role?

  • Support people in your community with a military background using your patience, time and empathy
  • Support and friendship from your local SSAFA branch and the wider SSAFA community
  • Experience, training and skills that you can highlight on your CV and in job interviews

What about training and support?

  • Local Induction
  • Volunteer Support Manager (per region)
  • Access to the Volunteer Support Team based at our central office
  • Training modules to complete at home, so you are up to date on how to keep clients, their families and personal information safe
  • Reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses

What are we looking for?

  • Friendly and approachable people with good listening skills, patience and a cheerful attitude
  • Good communication skills and written English
  • Ability to be respectful and non-judgemental with clients, their family, other agencies and SSAFA colleagues
  • Ability to keep within the boundaries of the role with regards to friendship, finances etc.
  • Reliable attitude, contact clients promptly, keep regular appointments, update the branch regarding your availability
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality and keep information safely (within SSAFA policies)
  • Willingness to travel by public transport or car to appointments with client
  • Able to provide two referees: former employers or other people that know you well (other than relatives)

Is a disclosure check required?

Yes. *A disclosure certificate that contains convictions, cautions, warnings, reprimands or other information may not automatically mean that you are not able to volunteer. All certificates will be reviewed on a case by case basis and, where possible, a modified or alternative role will be offered.

How do I find out more?

  • Complete the volunteer application form below.
  • Call our friendly central Volunteer Team on 0800 260 6775. They can answer any general questions about volunteering and put you in touch with your local branch

How do we use your information?

The information you provide will be used to create a personal record on our database if your application to become a SSAFA volunteer is successful. It will not be used for any other purpose or shared with any other organisation; all data collected from unsuccessful applicants will be destroyed as soon as it is no longer needed. SSAFA complies with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 2018.  Please read our privacy policy for more information.

Equality, diversity and inclusion

We welcome volunteers of all backgrounds, abilities, races, sexual orientations, socio-economic backgrounds, and of all faiths and none. SSAFA are committed to making reasonable adjustments to support disabled volunteers, so they have access to the same opportunities and experiences as non-disabled volunteers.

For further details see our equality and diversity policy.


We have a few restrictions on who can act as a referee for you and your application:

  • The referee must have know you for at least two years - and you must still be in contact now.
  • The referee cannot be a member of your family.
  • The referee cannot live at the same address as you.

What you'll do

Key role responsibilities

  • Contacting clients and arranging to meet them regularly at their home or care home for uninterrupted conversation
  • Letting the divisional secretary know of any concerns for your or the client’s safety
  • Arranging for a SSAFA caseworker to assess the client for other support as required
  • Chatting, making a cup of tea, playing cards, looking at photo albums, military mementoes etc
  • Helping your client to think about ways to reduce their isolation and support them to put these into practice
  • Keeping in touch with your branch so they know your availability
  • Keeping up to date with training and SSAFA news so that you are best able to support clients
  • Volunteering within the standards and values of SSAFA including observing our policies such as the Volunteering policy and Data Protection policy (these will be covered in your training and local induction).

Application form


Please provide us with your address by using our address lookup or by entering your address manually.

Thank you for trusting us with your data. For extra peace of mind about how we keep your data secure and how we manage your personal data, you can read more information in our Privacy Policy.