Local volunteer awarded BEM in New Year’s Honours List for services to the military community


A local volunteer has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours. Jean O’Hanlon, 66 from Alnwick in Northumberland has been bestowed the award for her voluntary services to SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity.

SSAFA provides lifelong support to anyone who is currently serving or has ever served in the Royal Navy, British Army or Royal Air Force, and their families.

Jean has volunteered for SSAFA Wansbeck Division as a dedicated caseworker for the past 11 years and has worked tirelessly supporting veterans and their families in need.

In addition to her volunteering role, Jean has also helped raise money for SSAFA through her love of flower arranging.

Last year, she staged a flower festival on behalf of SSAFA at Alnwick Castle to mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme which raised significant funds for the charity to continue its vital support to the Armed Forces community.

Her voluntary contributions go beyond the Services and Jean volunteers at the Peoples Kitchen in Newcastle, organising hot food, clothing and support to distressed people and their families.

Sir Andrew Gregory, Chief Executive at SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, comments:

“On behalf of all at SSAFA, I would like to congratulate Jean on being awarded a British Empire Medal. Jean’s tireless work and contribution to SSAFA over the past 11 years is greatly appreciated and we are grateful for her continued service.

“Without the invaluable efforts of our supporters, SSAFA would not be able to provide level of support that it does to those serving members of the Armed Forces, veterans and their families.

“We are absolutely delighted that Jean’s hard work has been recognised by Her Majesty The Queen, who we are extremely proud to have as the Patron of SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, on Her New Year Honours list.”


For more information, please contact the SSAFA Press Office on 0207 463 9321

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 www.ssafa.org.uk and follow us on Twitter: @SSAFA.

Our Executive Members

By @Cobseo 55 years ago

Afghanistan support

In light of recent events in Afghanistan, please find information and support resources here