Charity supporting veterans and their families is “desperate” for volunteers

Clwyd West AM and Chair of the Assembly Cross Party Group on the Armed Forces and Cadets, Darren Millar, is appealing to people with spare time on their hands to consider volunteering for a charity which provides crucial lifelong support to those who are serving or have served in the British Army, Royal Navy or the Royal Air Force, and their families.

Soldiers', Sailors', and Airmen's Families Association (SSAFA).was established over 130 years ago to ensure that service men and women, veterans and their families get the best possible support when they need it. Areas of support range from welfare, finance, mentoring, veterans in the criminal justice system ,  help with housing needs, funeral expenses, disabled needs and many other issues that might be required.

SSAFA Clwyd, which covers Denbighshire, Colwyn, Wrexham and Flintshire, are currently struggling to meet demand for their service due to a shortage of volunteers and are appealing to people of all ages and backgrounds who have some free time to spare to consider becoming a volunteer.

Chairman of SSAFA Clwyd, Major Frank Laska TD, said:

“This ever changing world of regulation and IT has meant that we have had a few retirements and this has led to a desperate shortfall of volunteers who can adapt to the modern methods of data collection and IT information input and we are therefore looking to recruit people who feel that they can make a difference in supporting our military family.  Our volunteers help those who seek our help whatever the need might be in a fully impartial way.

“Full training will be given and various requirements must be met such as General Data Protection Regulations, Data and Barring Service checks and laterally a SSAFA Volunteers  Caseworker Course will have to be undertaken which comprehensively gives a full insight into casework procedures.

“A volunteer will require the use of a vehicle and needs to be IT literate. Expenses will be paid such as mileage allowance, out of pocket expenses and telephone usage.

“We are looking for individuals who can show empathy, be non-judgemental and give thoughtful support.

“SSAFA currently have 92 branches worldwide, and a lot of the volunteers are ex-service men and women, but there are also many who have never served.

“It can be complicated and lengthy work and would therefore best suited to somebody who works part-time or is retired, although it would be nice to see some younger volunteers too, as currently we don’t have anyone under the age of 30 volunteering for SSAFA Clwyd.

“We are keen to hear from anyone who thinks they can make a difference really. We fully support our volunteers and help and advice is always available to them.”

Darren said:

“SSAFA do fantastic work supporting our military family who are serving, veterans and their families and are the only military charity carrying out this vitally important work.

“I was saddened to hear that SSAFA Clwyd are struggling to provide their excellent services due to a shortage of volunteers and I would therefore urge anyone looking for a rewarding new challenge in 2020 to get in touch with them.”

Those interested in becoming a volunteer or needing support from SSAFA Clwyd should call SSAFA Clwyd help line 07729535198 or SSAFA Forces Line 0800 7314880.