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SSAFA calls for volunteers to support the Serving Community

SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity is calling for volunteers to support service personnel and their families in seven locations as it expands it footprint in the community.

The charity is running a pilot scheme in seven key areas of the UK incorporating Royal Navy, Army and RAF bases with lots of exciting volunteer opportunities available.

The seven pilot areas are:

  • Catterick
  • Colchester
  • Digby, Waddington & Cranwell
  • Portsmouth & Gosport
  • Salisbury Plain
  • St Athan
  • Woolwich

SSAFA has created a number of new roles from supporting operations to community engagement and fundraising to help support the local serving community and is encouraging the public to step forward and volunteer.

Julie McCarthy, Director of Volunteer Operations at SSAFA said:

Here at SSAFA, we are committed to supporting the serving community and it is incredibly important to make sure the service we provide reflects the needs of the modern-day serving community.

“This pilot scheme, funded by the Army Central Fund, is designed to create new and exciting volunteer opportunities, whether you are currently serving, a family member or live in the local community. We hope that our new Serving Community Teams will help to tackle loneliness and isolation in the serving community, including supporting those that are single, reservists and their families.

“I know first-hand the difference a visit and help from a Community Volunteer can make and would encourage anyone interested to speak to their local SSAFA Team or find out more via our website.”

There will be a variety of roles in the seven pilot areas, including:

Leadership roles:

  • Serving Community Chair: is about leadership, networking, coordination and administration, to lead the SSAFA presence in the local serving community and oversee all aspects of the Serving Community Team.

Roles working directly with beneficiaries:

  • Contact Co-ordinator: will act as a referral point for beneficiary enquiries and ensure that all requests are filtered to the relevant person.
  • Engagement and Events Co-ordinator: is responsible for raising the profile of SSAFA in the local community. The Co-ordinator will work with the Serving Community Team to develop a clear and transparent publicity plan and will be central to delivering this place to raise awareness of SSAFA to potential beneficiaries, volunteers and funders in the serving community.
  • Fundraising Co-ordinator: will work with the Serving Community Team to develop and deliver a local fundraising plan, helping to raise funds through a range of local sources, including events, collections, grants, trusts, and appeals.
  • Fundraising Volunteer: will be out and about at public events to support the Team’s fundraising initiatives. They will support at local fayres, street collections, concerts quizzes and sporting events to raise funds for the Serving Community Team.
  • Community Engagement Volunteer: will aim to provide support to the Serving Community Team and Engagement & Events Co-ordinator to ensure local events run smoothly and efficiently.

Specialist skill roles:

  • Digital Marketing Volunteer: will raise awareness of the Serving Community Team through social media and digital marketing.
  • Team Administration Co-ordinator: is responsible for making sure that all Serving Community Team meetings are organised, and decisions are recorded. You will keep things running smoothly behind the scenes and be an excellent communicator.
  • Volunteering Co-ordinator: will support with the recruitment, induction and training of volunteers in the Serving Community Team, as well as celebrating best practice.
  • Finance Co-ordinator: will ensure that the Serving Community Team’s finances are well organised and administered in accordance with SSAFA’s regulations and charity law, using an online financial management system and online bank accounts.

Previous experience isn’t necessary as Community Volunteers will have access to a variety of support and accredited training, include Relief Care Services for Children, to support families who need a planned or temporary care service for their child or children.

The charity also provides training to help tackle loneliness and isolation amongst the serving community, aligning with the charity’s Tackling Social Isolation and Loneliness project, running across the next two years, thanks to a grant from the Armed Forces Covenant Trust.

Everyone who offers their time to volunteer with SSAFA makes a huge difference. The roles are varied, flexible and very rewarding, giving back to those who are serving. All backgrounds and experiences are welcomed, and a military background is not essential.

Since earlier this year, SSAFA has also been working with Landmarc to champion the Armed Forces community, linking Landmarc sites and SSAFA branches, as well as a variety of events, including supporting at SSAFA’s 2021 Mentoring conference and promoting volunteering opportunities across the SSAFA branch network and with the wider serving community.

If you would like to find out more or to volunteer in any of the pilot areas, visit ssafa.org.uk/sct

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