An example to us all
The UK’s oldest military charity is in the spotlight on a local level, after Havant MP Alan Mak visited the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA).
Based at St Faith’s Church, the Havant branch supports the national association in its efforts to support the welfare of service personnel past and present, and champion better provision for affected families.
Mr Mak met veterans including Colonel William Stevens OBE and Barney Creswell, who run the office.
Mr Creswell, from Emsworth, is a former police inspector who spent his youth fighting the Nazis in Europe, and was awarded the Legion d’honneur at a ceremony at Southsea’s D-Day Museum in March 2016 from the French government.
Stevens and Creswell deal with queries from veterans ranging from help with housing and financial issues to advice on the transition from military to civilian life.
Nearly five million people across Britain have served or remain on duty in the Armed Forces. Every year, SSAFA supports 55,000 of these through a range of welfare support, health services and help with accommodation.
Following the meeting, Alan Mak said: “I was delighted to meet Havant SSAFA to discuss the vital role that service charities play locally. Barney and William are inspirational veterans, still serving the community long after they retired. Their hard work and service is an example to us all.”