Devon veteran, Nyssa Davis, from Tavistock, recently thanked SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity for helping her in her time of need. Nyssa grew up in Bournemouth and served in the Royal Navy. After leaving the Navy, and relationship breakdown, Nyssa, and her first child found themselves homeless and in need of help.
“Whilst I was serving, I moved in with my then-boyfriend, got married and had a little boy. Things were OK for a while but soon the marriage broke down. I’d only just given up my job to have my child, then, suddenly, I was homeless, with no job and with a baby.
“I wanted to settle in Devon but the local authorities said I couldn’t because I had no local connections. I felt like I had no-where to go. It was a really difficult time and I struggled a lot. The pressure of not having somewhere to live was awful. I sofa surfed for a bit, but you can’t do that for long with a baby.”
What Nyssa didn’t realise was that, as a service leaver, she did not have to prove a local connection to be entitled to housing.
“I wish I’d known about SSAFA when I was made homeless, it could have helped me with getting accommodation. It’s a shame to find out after it was needed, but maybe this will help someone else.”
Nyssa did eventually connect with SSAFA and was allocated a caseworker to help her and her children.
“Val, my caseworker, is a miracle! She has helped me to apply for lots of help with the children and housing. When some help started to come in I was in tears, but laughing too – it was such a relief to get some support and not feel I had to face things alone.”
Nyssa now has somewhere to live, a new partner, and two more children. She also has the ongoing support she needs, especially for her boy, Lincoln, who has autism.
Val Hoar, SSAFA caseworker said:
“Nyssa is totally committed to her family, investing time and energy into family activities and not allowing the complex and difficult issues she has been dealing with to interfere. In spite of the ups and downs of the last 12 months, Nyssa always has a ready smile, is a devoted mum, and is determined to do her best for her children. It is a privilege to know and support her.”
If you, or someone you know may need support, or are interested in volunteering with SSAFA visit ssafa.org.uk