SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, recently assisted a homeless Bournemouth veteran into accommodation in time for Christmas.
Mike (not his real name), a Royal Armoured Corps veteran, was working at Dorchester Hospital when he became homeless last year. SSAFA stepped in and assigned Mike a caseworker, John, who supported him and helped him find a home.
“Mike had served with distinction for 16 years. Like a number of our clients, after he left the Army his relationship broke down and, from a position of security, he found himself homeless. The council were unable to offer him any help at all with temporary accommodation, so he ended up living in a tent outside Dorchester.”
Despite all this, and with the assistance of a very supportive supervisor, Mike retained his job and was determined to pay off his debts. His SSAFA caseworker helped him to contact Bournemouth War Memorial Homes (BWMH) and apply for accommodation there. The application was successful, and Mike was able to move into an apartment before Christmas.
“The flat had the barest set of appliances and no other furniture. We set about buying Mike the household items he needed, and I am pleased to say that his Regimental Association also helped out a lot.”
“I would like to thank SSAFA for all the help and hard work to me get off the streets. Also the Yeomanry fund. If it was not for these kind organisations I would still be homeless and facing a horrible winter. They gave me a place to be when no one else would and have given me a chance to rebuild my life again. My deepest thoughts prayers go out to them, and any veteran facing what I have been through.”
SSAFA operates in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland as well as overseas, supporting tens of thousands of people from within the Armed Forces family – Regular and Reserves, serving or retired, and their families – annually.
Volunteers come from all walks of life and a military background is not necessary. To find out about opportunities with the UK’s oldest tri-service charity, visit ssafa.org.uk/volunteer