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VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCES

  • Dear Friends/Family, I would like to share a page with you which has been created in the $bookTitle$. To view the page please click on the following link: $findContributionLink$ SSAFA Volunteers Online Book https://www.theonlinebookcompany.com/OnlineBooks/SSAFA/Contributions/Find/VOLUNTEEREXP/chellturner
    https://www.theonlinebookcompany.com/OnlineBooks/SSAFA/Contributions/Find/VOLUNTEEREXP/chellturner

    Chell Turner

    , | 3 Jun 2017

     

    Joining SSAFA has been the best decision I have ever made, I started as a case worker and shortly after became a Divisional secretary. My goal was to raise awareness of the help SSAFA can give to our serving forces and our Veterans, my cases have doubled in a year proving it works. As a case worker we get to spend time with real characters, we share the burden, we are there to listen and to offer simple solutions sometimes, other times we deal with complex cases both rewarding. My first case was to help find a home for a Veteran sleeping in his car, the sense of happiness when I found a home for him and the funding for him to move in was unbelievable. Its true what I was told, you are capable of making a difference and that's what case workers do. I have been lucky enough to host a weekly veterans club every week I listen to the service banter, I stand and listen to them laughing, teasing each other and no matter how down I may feel it doesn't last long when I am with them, the sense of fun is infectious, I would recommend volunteering with SSAFA to anyone, it will be the best decision you ever make. I have made some amazing friends also SSAFA volunteers from all over the country.

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VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCES

  • Dear Friends/Family, I would like to share a page with you which has been created in the $bookTitle$. To view the page please click on the following link: $findContributionLink$ SSAFA Volunteers Online Book https://www.theonlinebookcompany.com/OnlineBooks/SSAFA/Contributions/Find/VOLUNTEEREXP/davidhamilton
    https://www.theonlinebookcompany.com/OnlineBooks/SSAFA/Contributions/Find/VOLUNTEEREXP/davidhamilton

    David Hamilton

    Spennymoor, United Kingdom | 4 Jun 2017

     

    I had always thought that retired people were the only ones who had the time to spare to enable them to support a charity. It was only in 2014 while my wife and I were at a mess dinner that while chatting with a colleague, Adie, he told us that he worked as a volunteer for SSAFA in his free time. Another friend at the same table told us he was a volunteer "First Responder" and I was stunned. All three of us are full time reserve officers and I was interested to hear how they were able to manage with so little free time! Adie, (SSAFA) explained his role as a Case Worker and how satisfying it was to be able to help former servicemen and their families in their hour of need. He also talked about his ability to manage his work/life balance with his voluntary work for SSAFA. My other friend told us of the satisfaction he receives from his own volunteer role. I had worked with SSAFA caseworkers as a Unit Welfare Officer, now I had the opportunity of becoming one and picking up cases where previously I had handed them off! My wife, Greta, and I discussed it over that weekend and within 3 days I had applied to join my local Branch. I loved being a caseworker, the training was excellent and I found that the skills I had developed dealing with soldiers and their families over 35 years enabled me to strike a rapport with veterans very easily. When the position of Divisional Secretary became available after only a year as a caseworker I offered to take on the role and was accepted. I have a great team around me, all dedicated people from a variety of backgrounds, and I found that the previous secretary to be a great help as I came to learn the new role. When help or advice is needed it is great to know that there is a friendly voice at the end of the phone able to give clarity to a problem and help you through it. I got to meet the support team team at SSAFA Central Office last year and was being able to put faces to the friendly voices at the end of the phone - a real bonus. Greta was also doing quite a bit on the side lines, supporting our meetings with admin and making tea, as well as attending our fundraising activities. Before long she too formalized her commitment by joining SSAFA as a Voluntary Helper and Fund raiser; she enjoys chatting with people and is never short of good ideas. We have made new like-minded friends - all commited to helping servicemen, veterans and their families. In Sedgefield Division as I am sure it is in other Divisions we not only work together, but provide our own mutual support network. That includes getting together for families days when the sun shines and time permits. I would highly recommend SSAFA as a voluntary organisation. SSAFA and its volunteers really care about what we do. Like so many others on these pages, our reward is the grateful thanks of those who we help, for whom many had nowhere else to turn. We are always on the look out for new caseworkers and if any of this strikes a chord with you, then please get in touch with SSAFA - there is no time like the present. David H

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