Benevolence and charitable support for the Armed Forces community is a crowded area. However, despite the proliferation of charities, one has a pedigree the few can match: SSAFA.
The Soldiers’, Sailors’ & Airmens’ Families Association (SSAFA) is the oldest tri-service charity in the UK, formed in 1885 by Major James Gildea. The original aim of the charity was to support military families left behind as the Second Expeditionary Force deployed to Egypt. Its aims are now wider, with a focus on serving and retired members of the Armed Forces, in addition to the continued support provided to families.
A recent example of this is seen in its support of injured service personnel returning from Afghanistan and Iraq. SSAFA opened two Norton Houses (named after Captain Peter Norton GC) near Headley Court and Selly Oak medical facilities, providing much needed respite and intimate support as families recovered from life-changing injuries.
SSAFA retains benevolence for all parts of the the Armed Forces community at its core and remains true to the aims established by its founder over 130 years ago.