SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, is urging the people of Argyll and Bute to build on their New Year’s resolutions and learn new skills, while giving something back to their local Armed Forces community, by becoming a volunteer.
The military charity, which has supported currently serving members of our Armed Forces, veterans and their families for over 131 years, is seeing the requests for support from this group increase and become more complex.
SSAFA Argyll and Bute operates volunteer-led support services in the region. The most vital need is for new volunteer caseworkers who directly deliver the support and that need is currently most acute in Bute, Cowal, Kintyre, Mid Argyll, Mull, Islay and Jura.
In addition to new caseworkers, SSAFA’s operations in Argyll and Bute needs a volunteer Awareness and Fundraising Officer to help promote and raise vital funds for the branch.
SSAFA volunteer caseworkers support members of the Armed Forces community in a range of ways, including:
- Visiting them in their homes, assessing their needs and building a bespoke package of support;
- Providing support with issues such as mobility, home repairs, household goods, homelessness, marriage breakdown, mental health problems, urgent debt support, essential food and groceries, and clothing and training costs to help younger veterans back into work;
- Accessing funds for house adaptations for a service man or woman injured whilst fighting for their country;
- Befriending elderly veterans and providing them with some much-needed company and happiness to combat loneliness and isolation;
- Raising the rent for a young veteran unemployed and struggling to transition from military life to civilian life.
Former teacher, Pam Reynolds, has been a SSAFA volunteer caseworker for more than seven years. Pam says: “I have volunteered for SSAFA for more than seven years and they have flown by. I have met some of the most interesting and wonderful people while working with the charity and love the work we do.
“It’s the satisfaction of seeing a person in need go from sometimes dire circumstances through to getting back on their feet and living the life they deserve.
“It’s such a rewarding role that is never the same day by day so you’ll never get bored.
“For me, especially since retiring from the education sector, volunteering has given me new life and energy and I am keeping fit and my mind active as a result, all whilst supporting the Armed Forces community with the work of the charity.
“I simply love it and it gives me a chance to continue to use my professional skills and those gained in my personal life – I don’t intend to get bored in my retirement!
“So whoever you are – whatever age or background and wherever you are - visit www.ssafa.org.uk/newrecruits to find out more or to sign up, you won’t regret it.”