A leading armed forces charity is calling on Sussex residents to help form strong support groups in their communities.
The Sussex branch of SSAFA – formerly known as the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association –say its latest research has found that almost half (41 per cent) of British veterans, aged 25-45, have felt lonely, isolated, or suicidal since leaving the armed forces.
In a bid to meet this need and ensure no veteran’s call goes unanswered, the SSAFA Sussex Branch is urgently appealing to local residents to join its network of dedicated volunteers and provide support.
Christine Cribb, head of volunteering at SSAFA, said: “Our research has highlighted just how many veterans are feeling lonely and isolated during that pivotal transition to civilian life. After all they have given us, we feel it is our duty to make sure that every veteran receives the help and support they need during this time.
“You can help SSAFA reach more veterans in Sussex by joining our network of dedicated volunteers. They have sacrificed a great deal for us, so now it’s our turn to support them. Please get in touch with one of our team to find out more.”
The transition back to civilian life after leaving the military can be difficult for some veterans. Their employment, living arrangements, financial stability, and personal lifestyles all change at once as they leave behind their usual support networks and try to acclimatise to their new life.
SSAFA volunteer caseworkers provide support to veterans and their families who are in need. This could include access to financial assistance, advice and support on personal affairs, and access to special equipment for those with disabilities.
In addition to volunteer case workers, the SSAFA Sussex Branch is also looking to recruit a new branch secretary and branch treasurer to help continue its vital work with veterans and their families in Sussex.
Branch secretaries are responsible for the day to day running of the branch and provide support to all the other volunteers in the area.
Branch treasurers are responsible for the management of all the branch funds and accounts. Experience of accountancy, financial and audit processes are desirable, but a forces background is not essential.
If you are interested in joining the SSAFA Sussex Branch team as a caseworker, Branch Secretary, or Branch Treasurer, please visit www.ssafa.org.uk/newrecruits or call 0800 032 5612.