SSAFA has been awarded a grant of £295,000 from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to assist British nationals in countries across Europe after Brexit.
The funding from the FCO will allow SSAFA to help UK veterans apply for residency to continue living in the EU after Brexit. The funding will provide support until March 2021 to the Armed Forces community in France, Germany and Cyprus, to assist with their applications to remain living in the European Union.
The Government fund particularly aims to help pensioners, disabled people, those living in remote areas or those who need language translation with the paperwork. SSAFA’s support is in addition to guidance provided by British embassies.
A recent report from RIFT, the largest organisation of British citizens in France, detailed concerns around the potential issues faced by many British citizens living in France following the UK’s exit from the EU.
Firstly, the report mentions that the number of British citizens who are resident in France is unknown, with current estimates between 150,000 to 400,000. Secondly, the lack of registration has resulted in many UK residents fearing that they do not meet the requirements in order to remain in France. Many believe that they could face deportation and may not be able to continue to live with their family.
SSAFA will be working alongside Church of England, International Organization for Migration and Franco-British Network to provide support to UK nationals across France.
In addition, the charity will be working alongside IOM (International Organization for Migration) in Germany and CIFSA (Cyprus International Financial Services Association) in Cyprus.
Andrew Gregory, CEO at SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity:
“SSAFA’s network of trained volunteers across the United Kingdom and overseas supports veterans and their families, whatever their need. Those living in the European Union are, understandably, concerned about the effects of Brexit. I am delighted that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) have recognised the pivotal role SSAFA plays in supporting the Armed Forces community through this grant. It will allow us to intensify our work over the next year to address the issues those who have served this Nation are facing.”
You can read the RIFT report here.
To receive support with Brexit or to find out more, email UKVIE.Support@ssafa.org.uk.
Notes to editors
SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, has been providing lifelong support to our Forces and their families since 1885. In 2018, our teams of volunteers and employees helped more than 82,000 people in need, from Second World War veterans to those who have served in more recent conflicts, and their families. SSAFA understands that behind every uniform is a person. And we are here for that person – any time they need us, in any way they need us, for as long as they need us.