We are the longest serving national tri-service military charity. For over 130 years, we have provided lifelong support to those who are serving or have ever served in our Armed Forces.
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Today nearly 2.6 million people living in the United Kingdom are estimated to have served in the Armed Forces at some point in their lives. Every year, around 20,000 servicemen and women leave the services and return to civilian life.
That's why our work is so important. We believe that those who have served their country should get the best possible support when they need it.
Our support covers both regulars and reserves in the British Army, the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force and their families, including anyone who has completed National Service. They are all entitled to lifelong support from SSAFA, no matter how long they have served.
Every year we support around 60,000 people - that's about 165 every day.
We have been serving the Armed Forces community for over 130 years and our experience has helped us understand the unique demands of service life. We are continually updating what we do to ensure we meet the changing needs of servicemen and women, veterans and their families.
SSAFA works in partnership with other military charities and specialist organisations to ensure that those who turn to us for help get the support they need.
We put Armed Forces families at the heart of everything we do.
Welfare advice and support
We help serving personnel, veterans and their families across the UK. Our network of around 7,000 committed volunteers worldwide offer welfare support for people from throughout the military community, from World War Two veterans to the families of young service personnel wounded in Afghanistan. Our network of branches provide help for veterans and their families in the community. Our service volunteers work on military bases to help families meet the challenges of service life.
Health & Social Care services
Our professional staff give direct support to serving personnel and their families in the UK and overseas through contracts to the NHS and Ministry of Defence. Our doctors, nurses, midwives and social workers deliver health and community care for British Forces in Germany and worldwide.
Armed Forces families face unique challenges and so it is important that we provide services that address their specific needs. These services address a variety of unique welfare needs and issues experienced by military families:
- Support groups for families who have been bereaved, and for the families of the wounded, injured and sick
- A mentoring service for wounded, injured and sick serving personnel returning to civilian life
- The Military Wives Choirs Foundation that brings Forces women together through singing.
Services for children
Armed Forces families can find it difficult to access the services they need because they move so often. Our staff and volunteers are here to help with:
- Support for families with additional needs and disabilities, including short breaks for children and a forum so parents can share information and advice
- SSAFA’s Adoption service helps military families who would like to adopt but face the challenge of relocating regularly, and places 20 children every year.
Our accomodation meets the different needs of the serving and veterans communities:
- Norton Homes providing free accommodation for the families of service men and women receiving long term medical treatment
- Short-term accommodation at our Stepping Stone homes, free of charge, for women and children experiencing relationship breakdown
- Accomodation at St Vincent's care home and the Royal Homes in Wimbledon and 36 bungalows for veterans with disabilities.
Through our charitable services, health & social care contracts and specialist services, we help and support around 90,000 people worldwide every year.
- Our volunteer network reaches into every county of the UK and 11 countries around the world.
- Volunteers in our 92 branches provide advice and support to veterans and their families living in local communities.
- Our Service Committees work on Army garrisons, RAF stations and Naval establishments with 68 Committees across the UK and wherever our Forces are based worldwide.
Our health care and social work services support the Armed Forces community in 12 countries including the UK.
Our charitable work is financed by contributions from benevolent funds, generous donations from members of the public and the profits generated by our Health and Social Care department who are contracted by the NHS and Ministry of Defence to provide direct support to serving personnel and their families in the UK and overseas.
Find more detail about how we fund our services in our reports and publications.