SSAFA is looking for empathetic, open minded, supportive and respectful people to volunteer to provide support to the Armed Forces community and their families.
New volunteer opportunities available in Sheffield, Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham include caseworker, mentor, recruitment coordinator, fundraising coordinator, fundraising volunteer and divisional secretary.
Dawn Civill-Williams, veterans in criminal justice caseworker, helps veterans who are in prison and those who were released.
She provides support to veterans with food, rent, clothes and transitioning from custody to civilian life.
Mrs Williams said: “Usually our veterans have lost their job, home, family and friends. Sometimes, I am the only person who visits them and supports them. If they have any hope of getting their life on the right path, they need to be respected and have their dignity restored.
“I enjoy my volunteering role immensely. It isn’t always easy, and there are very difficult days where I question what I am doing. But ultimately, I know that not only am I helping an individual who often has no one else, I am making a difference to my community as well. It’s clear that successful reintegration will prevent reoffending.”
To become a volunteer a person must apply for a role and complete a full application form. A potential volunteer will be asked for an interview and then an induction will be undertaken. This will include preparation and training for the role that a volunteer applied to. Types of training will depend on the role chosen but every volunteer will have a SSAFA representative for help and support.
Some volunteering jobs require more professional skills for example, recruitment coordinator. SSAFA’s recruitment coordinators look for people who are interested in supporting the organisation and take them through the recruitments and selection process. To become a recruitment coordinator basic IT skills are required as well as good spoken and written English. Previous experience in fundraising would also be beneficial.
Kathleen Tozer was an anti-aircraft gunner for the British Army’s Auxiliary Territorial Service from 1941 until the end of the war. Years later she met one of SSAFA’s workers who helped her to get a war pension.
Mrs Tozer said: “SSAFA is marvellous. They are people who give up their spare time to help people. I always wish I was in a position to help people more.”
Photo by SSAFA