Written evidence submitted by SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity (DIS0012)
SSAFA’S RESPONSE TO CONSULTATION ON SCOTLAND
SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity welcomes the Scottish Affairs Committee inquiry into Defence in Scotland.
SSAFA is there for the entire UK Armed Forces Community including Serving Personnel, Reservists, Veterans and their families, regardless of their demographics, location or level of need.
We are careful to adjust our services to meet those needs across our network of nearly 4,000 volunteers and 350 employees. In Scotland, we provide comprehensive coverage via our 20 Branches and five Service Committees which operate on military bases. We also have a partnership between SSAFA and Glasgow City Council called ‘Glasgow’s Helping Heroes’ which has recently celebrated its 10th anniversary.
Our caseload varies commensurate with local populations and locations of military units. For example, on average, we support four cases a year in Orkney & Shetland and on average 400 case a year in Lanarkshire.
In terms of The UK Government offering any additional support to individuals and communities affected
It is very important that the Armed Forces charity sector is included when planning and decisions are made as we often have to give essential support to the Armed Forces community, which is not provided by the UK Government and/ or Scottish Parliament.
For the last five years we have been involved with the Map of Need project run by Northumbria University and funded by the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust. The project gives us clearer insights into where veterans are living within the UK, what their current needs are and what their future needs might be, by looking at the support they have asked for or accessed (https://covenantfund.org.uk/the-map-of-need/). We are also working on an offshoot of this project with Northumbria University which is the UK’s first ever study into Food Poverty in the Armed Forces Community – results on this will be reported later this year.
We will continue to work with all relevant and interested stakeholders to ensure our service delivery in Scotland meets the needs across our community.
SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, has been providing lifelong support to our Forces and their families since 1885. In 2020, our teams of volunteers and employees helped more than 79,000 people in need, the currently serving (both regulars and reserves), veterans from the Second World War and those who have served in more recent conflicts, as well as 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.