SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, has seen an increase in need for support from the Shropshire Armed Forces community.
This Spring, in a bid to meet the increase in need, SSAFA’s new Shropshire branch chairman – retired Brigadier Andrew Meek, has launched a search across the length and breadth of Shropshire to find new recruits to join its rank of dedicated volunteers, particularly in Telford and Shrewsbury.
SSAFA, whose network of volunteers that support serving personnel, reservists, veterans and their families, has seen the number of requests for support from the Shropshire Armed Forces community rise by 38 per cent between 2013 and 2015, and individual cases rise from 346 in 2014 to 427 in 2015.
SSAFA is the oldest, national, tri-service military charity in the UK, supporting some 55,000 people in the Armed Forces community each year. In Shropshire, SSAFA has volunteers throughout the county and in Telford and Wrekin.
SSAFA Shropshire branch chairman, Brig. Meek, of Wollerton, Market Drayton, said: “There is clearly an increase in need locally and we are particularly looking for new caseworkers in Telford, as that is where many of our beneficiaries live.
“The main issues we are seeing from the local Armed Forces community are debt, mobility problems, accessing funds for training course and housing and we are especially looking for new volunteer case workers. These people are so important for SSAFA’s work as they visit people in their homes, assess their needs and build a plan of action bespoke to that individual and their circumstances.
“SSAFA does not ask for a minimum time commitment; however we hope to find local volunteers who can commit to providing a minimum of four hours per week and we will assist them with comprehensive training, advice and support. A forces background is not essential to be a SSAFA volunteer, however IT literacy and having their own transport is a must and all volunteers have their expenses paid for.
“As well as case worker roles, we are also looking for office administrators, a branch secretary, a branch treasurer’s assistant and general volunteers to assist us. We have offices in Copthorne, Shrewsbury and in Southwater One in Telford.”
A case worker might also assist with gaining funds for house adaptions for a service man or woman injured whilst fighting for their country, raise the rent for a young veteran unemployed and struggling to transition from military to civilian life, befriend a lonely, elderly veteran and provide them with much-needed company and support with issues such as homelessness, marriage, breakdown, debt and mental health problems.
If you are interested in joining your local SSAFA team, to give something back to the Armed Forces in Shropshire, email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact 01743 344220. For more information visit www.ssafa.org.uk
The charity will be holding a fundraising collection at Shrewsbury’s Tesco store on April 29 and all money raised will stay in Shropshire to help veterans.
SSAFA Shropshire Branch is in Copthorne, Shrewsbury and open from 10am12pm every weekday as well as two mornings a week in Southwater One, Telford.
About volunteering for SSAFA:
SSAFA is searching for volunteers who are empathetic and nonjudgemental.The charity does not ask for a minimum time commitment; however it hopes to find volunteers who can commit to providing a minimum of four hours per week.
SSAFA sees it relationship with its volunteers as a partnership and will assist them with comprehensive training, advice and support.Prospective volunteers will be invited to attend an interview and if successful will then need to provide references and complete relevant checks and registrations.
A Forces background is not essential to be a SSAFA volunteer however IT literacy is a must. SSAFA volunteers have their expenses paid for.
SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity (formerly known as the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen & Families Association), provides lifelong support to anyone who is currently serving or has ever served in the Royal Navy, British Army or Royal Air Force including reservists, and their families. Each year, our professional staff and network of more than 7,000 volunteers help 55,000 people, ranging from World War Two veterans to the families of young servicemen and women wounded or killed in Afghanistan.
For more information visit www.ssafa.org.uk and follow us on Twitter: @SSAFA