SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, has brought benefits to countless lives – serving men and women, veterans, and their families – in its 137 years, with the most recent figures showing some 79,000 people contacted the charity in 2020. Sometimes, though, it is the small things that make the most impact – for clients as well as those providing the support.
Take Dunbarton resident and former Wren Lucy*, for example, who served until 1982, but has had a tough time of it over recent years. This has been down to some physical difficulties and problems with her housing, leading her to feel trapped in her own home.
Kenny Morrison – Branch Treasurer of SSAFA Dunbartonshire – received a thank-you note from Lucy. As you might expect, thank-yous are received regularly by SSAFA branch volunteers and staff, and each one is as unique and the person that gives it. Lucy’s was just a bit different, a little more heartfelt than others.
Kenny takes up the story, saying:
“SSAFA Dunbartonshire gave store gift cards to a number of our clients in December, in the hope that each would in some way improve the quality of Christmas for them. It’s safe to say they did.
“Lucy wrote that the gift card meant she was able to buy a new pair of trainers to replace a battered old pair, adding ‘I was totally blown away by the gift and it has made such a difference to me’.”
Lucy also wrote that she used the gift card to buy
“… a few tasty treats, and I splashed out on a magazine!
“Go me! I haven’t had a new magazine for years.”
“Being able to buy and enjoy a magazine – as Lucy was able to – seems almost trivial, but there’s often nothing bigger than the small things, the things many of us do and take for granted. It’s heart-melting stuff.
“If we ever needed proof that what SSAFA Dunbartonshire does every year in giving out these gift cards is worth it, effective, and appreciated, then surely this has to be it.
“This is why we do SSAFA, to providing practical, emotional, and financial support – and a bit of happiness – to our Forces and their families.”
For more information about SSAFA including how to donate to help improve more lives like Lucy’s, visit ssafa.org.uk
*Not her real name