SSAFA Forces Help (often just called SSAFA; pronounced SA-FA) is a British based charitable organization set up to help former and serving members of the United Kingdom British Armed Forces and their families or dependents. To be eligibile for their assistance all that is required is one day's paid work for any of the United Kingdom's armed forces.
The Soldiers' and Sailors' Families Association was founded in 1885 by James Gildea. It later, in 1919, became a charity which was called the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA) after the establishment of the Royal Air Force in 1918. SSAFA Forces Help was established in 1997 when two charities, the "Forces Help Society", and "SSAFA", merged.
The objects for which the Association is established and incorporated are to relieve the need, suffering and distress of the following persons:
- a. Members and former members of all ranks of all Branches of Our Land, Sea and Air Forces ("anyone who has ever served");
- b. Wives, former wives, husbands, former husbands, families, widows, widowers, children and other dependents of the members and former members of all ranks of all Branches of Our Land, Sea and Air Forces.
- c. Members and former members of the Mercantile Marine who sailed under Admiralty Charter and their dependents;
- d. Members and former members of the Nursing Services of all Branches of Our Land, Sea and Air Forces, and of the Association's Professional Nursing and Welfare Service;
- e. British members of the Palestine Police Force who served in World War II and their dependents;
- f. Citizens of our United Kingdom, currently stationed overseas in Service establishments, and having the status of being part of the Armed Forces, both while they are stationed abroad and during their repatriation for a period ending no more than six months following their return to the United Kingdom.
With the money raised, SSAFA Forces Help can offer a range of support services:
- Ensure their services overseas and in the UK are maintained and developed,
- Recruit volunteers to spend time with families and serving personnel,
- Support Stepping Stones homes for young families coping with change,
- Support national awareness campaigns to reach those in need,
- Supply training for volunteers within the UK branch network.
- Royal Navy
- British Army
- Royal Air Force
- The Royal British Legion
- Army Benevolent Fund
- Royal Air Forces Association
- RAF Benevolent Fund
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