Sponsored by Exforplus
24 Feb 21. SSAFA Continues Support during COVID! 2020 was a challenging year for everyone in many ways, and demand for the services provided by SSAFA continued to grow. It was paramount that we could continue to provide vital practical, emotional and financial support to all those currently serving (both regular and reserves), veterans and families at this time of crisis.
As businesses closed their doors during lockdown, key fundraising events and activities were cancelled too. This impacted on our ability to raise enough income to meet the needs of our beneficiaries. We are so grateful to everyone who was able to help us during this critical time.
Since the arrival of COVID-19 SSAFA has seen calls to our confidential helpline, Forcesline, increase. Outreach requests have become more critical – with problems related to debt, housing and mental health issues associated with loneliness and isolation. At SSAFA we aim to provide whatever assistance is needed, for as long as it is needed, to ensure the independence and dignity of those who turn to us for help.
Examples of how we have helped our beneficiaries during the COVID-19 pandemic include:
- Crisis financial assistance for basic living, heating and warm clothes, as well as paying for bills, rent and food, by distributing vouchers or delivering food parcels.
- Welfare and emotional help for those who have lost their jobs, are grieving or in crisis.
- Supporting SSAFA’s dedicated and expert teams of employees and volunteers who run our helplines, frontline welfare services and support SSAFA’s UK-wide network of caseworkers.
Last year we assisted helped more than 85,000 people during times of personal crisis, and without your help we would have had to turn away some individuals who called on our help.
Thanks to you, this was not the case, and we were able to help many more vulnerable members of the military community, like Tony Rhodes, right, to receive the urgent help they need.
A few years ago Royal Navy and Falklands veteran Tony suffered a devastating stroke. Though lucky to be alive, severely restricted speech and movement brought an end to the full and active life he enjoyed with his family in France. Eventually his wife Soraya decided they needed to return to the UK for better care, and she was put in touch with SSAFA to support the difficult move, and their new life here.
National Tailored Tuesday – 23 March
Inspired by the numerous fundraising efforts made during lockdown, and feeling let down by the sartorial standards of their counterparties on endless Zoom Calls, Laurence Fishman (aka the singing accountant), Simon Tilsiter (the suave surveyor) and Philip Turner (the sartorial solicitor) have decided to collaborate with the launch of National Tailored Tuesday!
Tailored Tuesday, in aid of SSAFA, will be running from 23 March, and every Tuesday going forward whilst we work at home, with the aim to raise funds for the heroes and dependants of our Armed Forces.
What can you do? Join the campaign, and your next video call, by putting on your smartest work wear and support #tailoredtuesday by donating here:
Thorntons spread Festive Cheer
Thorntons have been a partner of SSAFA for 4 years. At the end of 2020 they sent us boxes of Thorntons Continental to gift to our residents in the Royal Homes, Fischer House, Norton House & Gildea House, as well as for branches to give to veterans.
Glasgow Helping Heroes included a box as part of a “goody bag” they put together which included several other items and a handwritten Christmas Card.
Rachael Tribble – Glasgow Helping Heroes Service Manager – emailed to thank them, saying:
“The Thorntons chocolates arrived safely, so thank you very much. After seeing them half the team started telling me they were lonely, vulnerable veterans too! …they were much appreciated by our veterans.”
Volunteering for SSAFA
With the challenges of national lockdowns and the tier system taking its toll, we wanted to find out more about how people were feeling about supporting others in their community. We did some polling with Censuswide and found that 60% of the UK population wished they had done more to support others during the first Coronavirus lockdown and 74% of people are feeling inspired to do more after seeing their communities come together.
As a result, in January we launched a volunteering drive, and got hundreds of applicants up and down the country, but we still have many areas still in need of new caseworkers and administrators.
Can you help us?
It would be wonderful if you could help us spread the word about volunteering for SSAFA on your own social media channels, some example posts you can share are:
- Facebook: Deborah McGuire, Assistant Branch Secretary Gloucestershire
- LinkedIn: Call out to people to volunteer for SSAFA
- Instagram: Lots of posts to choose from: Call out to people to volunteer for SSAFA
Alternatively if you think your colleagues would be interested in volunteering for SSAFA, then please share this link with them: www.ssafa.org.uk/volunteer.
Have you ever considered setting up a payroll giving scheme, which is an easy, tax-efficient way for your employees to donate through their salary?
It enables them to donate to SSAFA straight from their gross salary (before tax is deducted) giving immediate tax relief on their donations.
Anyone whose pay is taxed through PAYE can donate through Payroll Giving.
QinetiQ is one of the country’s leading defence suppliers and an employer of both serving and ex-serving members of the Armed Forces community, including reservists.
The company has pledged its continued support to UK service personnel by signing the Armed Forces Corporate Covenant, holding the Gold Award in the Defence Employer Recognition scheme and, as part of its commitment to diversity and inclusion, recently signing the Women in Defence Charter.
Steve Wadey, QinetiQ CEO, said: “It is vital to recognise the role of our service personnel, who go the extra mile in serving our country. They make a valuable contribution to our company by helping us to understand a key customer, and to the Armed Forces through their innovation and commercial expertise.
“I have signed the Covenant because I strongly believe it is important for companies to support and encourage those who wish to go above and beyond in the name of public service.”
QinetiQ works with Armed Forces charities, including SSAFA, to offer continued support to Military Service and Emergency Services personnel looking to leave the services by providing coaching, guidance, and support.
Exclusive Discount for the SSAFA Store
The SSAFA store is our online shop, with gifts for children, sportswear, clothing and much more, including a beautiful new William Morris homeware range.
All of our partners can benefit from 10% off all purchases* by entering 10CORP21 at checkout – please share this with colleagues you feel might be interested.
*T&Cs: Offer ends midnight 31 March 2021. Offer excludes delivery costs.
Challenge Events 2021
Do you or your team want to take on a bigger challenge to help raise funds for SSAFA?
Here’s a couple of ideas for this Summer…
13 Bridges Walk
Suitable for a family or team, enjoy this gentle walk along the scenic London riverside.
Ride to the Somme
Explore World War battlefields and other local history in this week long cycle ride.
Thank you again for all of the support you have shown SSAFA over the years, and particularly last year during our lockdown and pandemic crisis. Your support is invaluable and truly makes a difference to the level of support we can provide to the Armed Forces community.
Have a great few months, and we’ll speak to you again soon!
Gary Davidson Guild
Commercial Partnerships Officer
Corporate Partnerships Manager
ExFor+ CIC is a relatively new organisation but has been established with the objective of becoming a National overarching organisation within the Veterans Support Sector. Our aim is to bring about, positive Social and Economic change for the country as well as a significant
transformation of how Service leavers, Veterans, their families and communities are supported. We will do this through effective collaboration, communication and management of a number of services and departments, ranging from engaging with Government, The Third sector and also the supporters of, those who’ve served and often sacrificed so much for their country. We are currently supporting a number of service leavers and veterans with a range of issues ranging from housing, unemployment, benefits, personal development, education, and are constantly looking for employers who see the positives in recruiting and supporting individuals in to work to create longterm and sustainable futures.