Christmas cheer for SSAFA veterans, thanks to ESS



Special festive lunch donated to military community in Southend

Christmas came early today for members of the SSAFA Veteran’s Lunch Club. Professional chefs armed with roast turkey and all of the trimmings descended to serve up a large helping of seasonal goodwill. The Lunch Club welcomed over 60 veterans in for the special event, making it a real calendar highlight.

In the true spirit of Christmas, the entire meal was donated by ESS, Support Services Worldwide, part of Compass Group, to say thank you for their service to our nation.  ESS has supported SSAFA for several years and earlier this year selected them as their nominated charity partner.

James Grant, Head of Corporate & Events at SSAFA said: “SSAFA is proud to have been chosen as ESS’ official charity partner. We are working with the team to make this a meaningful and productive venture, building on previously successful fundraising events.

We’re delighted that ESS has kindly donated this festive treat for SSAFA Southend’s Christmas meal. It’s a powerful example of how companies and charities can work together to make a real impact on the ground. We look forward to developing our relationship over the coming years”.

Mick Hickman, Foodservice Director for ESS said: “We are really proud to be supporting SSAFA in bringing some festive cheer to the lives of our brave Forces veterans. They are a fantastic charity, undertaking important work to provide support for the Armed Forces and their families, which is why we chose them as our charity partner. The partnership with SSAFA has grown through 2017 and we look forward to a great 2018.

“Christmas lunch is an important social event to come together as a community. By giving the time of two of our chefs and providing the ingredients we are glad to have played our part in putting on a wonderful event that will bring happiness and good will to over 60 veterans this festive period.”

The SSAFA Southend Veterans’ Club is a social group that was set up in January 2016, to provide local veterans with a place to go for companionship and social interaction. The group was started by Michele Everett, Divisional Secretary of Southend and Rochford SSAFA and it runs every Thursday afternoon from 12pm – 4.30pm.

Funded purely by donations, the Southend-on-Sea club is open to veterans from all branches of the Armed Forces, male and female, and the current age range of the group is between 57 and 93 years old. Widows and widowers of veterans are also welcome to attend the groups.


Notes to editors
SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, has been providing lifelong support to our Forces and their families since 1885. Every year our staff and team of volunteers help more than 67,000 people, from Second World War veterans to young men and women who have served in more recent conflicts.

For more information visit and follow us on Twitter: @SSAFA.

About SSAFA Southend & Rochford Branch
SSAFA’s Weymouth & Portland division is completely volunteer run and is dedicated to supporting the Armed Forces, veterans and their families across the region.

Contact details:

  • Address – SSAFA Southend & Rochford, Royal Naval Association, 73-79 East Street, Southend-On-Sea, SS2 6QL
  • Email –
  • Telephone – 01702 463 113

For more information on the Southend Veterans Club visit:’-club

About ESS Support Services Worldwide
ESS Support Services Worldwide (ESS) provides catering, retail, leisure and support services to the defence, offshore and remote industry. ESS is part of Compass Group, the world’s leading food and support services company.

ESS showed its support to the military by signing the Armed Forces Covenant in 2013 and Compass Group UK & Ireland reinforced this by signing for the business as a whole in July 2016. The Covenant aims to ensure fairness and equal opportunity for Service and ex-Service personnel, Reservists and their families when accessing goods and Services, helping to build an extensive network of support across a wide range of industry sectors.

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