THE Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen & Families Association (SSAFA) – Forces Help has been providing vital support to our servicemen and women and their families for 125 years, writes Lesley Blake.
In 2009 SSAFA France, based in Castillonnès, assisted 81 families and 2010, which is SSAFA's 125th Anniversary, is proving to be another busy year.
As Remembrance Sunday draws close we think not only about those who fought so bravely in the last century but also the troops who are serving their country now, often in difficult and challenging circumstances.
More than 330 British troops have lost their lives and hundreds more have sustained life-changing injuries in Afghanistan since 2001 and it is not just those on the frontline who are affected.
Conflict can also have a devastating impact on those left at home – the mums and dads, wives, partners, children, brothers and sisters.
From the elderly World War II veteran with mobility problems, to the young soldier seriously wounded in Iraq, SSAFA’s ability to adapt to the changing needs of our service community means we will always be there when we are needed.
The charity has two ‘homes-from-home’ allowing seriously injured troops to spend much-needed quality time with their families and also runs family support groups for those coping with a sudden bereavement or coming to terms with life-changing injury to a loved one.
SSAFA's nationwide UK network of 7,000 trained volunteers is on hand to provide practical, financial and emotional support whenever anyone turns to them for help.
Anyone who has served for just one day could be eligible for SSAFA’s support, including past and present members of all three Armed Forces, members of the Territorial Army, our Reserve Forces and those who have done National Service.
If you think SSAFA Forces Help can assist you or someone you know, or if you are interested in volunteering, please contact SSAFA France on 05 53 24 92 38 or via email.
Lesley Blake is the branch secretary of SSAFA France.
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