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Further funding to fight loneliness in the Armed Forces community
SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity has announced receipt of a further grant that will enable it to extend its ‘Keep Calm, Get Connected and Carry On’ project, which aims to combat loneliness and isolation among those most vulnerable in the Armed Forces community …
Thanks to a recent grant extension from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS), which has awarded a further £450,000, the charity has been able to extend the project into 2021.
In June 2020, the government announced that it would be donating £5 million to national organisations to help them tackle loneliness. SSAFA has now received a total of £950,000 from the DCMS for its work combating loneliness and isolation among veterans and their families. The grant has gone towards supporting those most at risk during the COVID-19 pandemic across England, from adapting services such as Forcesline to delivering breakfast rolls to those isolating in rural communities.
The project aims to create social connections for lonely veterans and their families, coordinated across England, delivered locally through SSAFA’s branches in local communities, and supported by more than 4,000 trained volunteers. It aims to enable a technological adaptation of services, enabling services to be delivered online and remotely where required, providing a positive impact beyond the grant.
The funding will enable the charity to support people through SSAFA’s casework and visiting service, Forcesline, its one-to-one mentoring service, and activities for groups more at risk of loneliness.
Says Sir Andrew Gregory, controller at SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity: ‘The extension of the Keep Calm, Get Connected and Carry On project and this extremely generous grant from the DCMS will help SSAFA to continue to tackle loneliness and isolation among the Armed Forces community during this particularly challenging time.
‘SSAFA was already concerned about loneliness and isolation among some veterans, especially given the team ethos that is at the heart of military service; COVID-19 has exacerbated this problem. We are most grateful to the DCMS for this second grant, which will enable us to continue to address a real, current issue that has been heightened over the past year.’
Baroness Barran, Minister for Loneliness, adds: ‘We can’t underestimate the support that charities like SSAFA are giving to veterans and their families, who may be feeling particularly isolated and lonely in these difficult times. Tackling loneliness remains a priority for the government and I’m thrilled the funding allocated to SSAFA will help the Armed Forces community access the services they need. This will not only create meaningful social connections but also help eradicate the stigma associated with loneliness.’
If you, or someone you know, requires support, you can reach out to SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity by visiting ssafa.org.uk or calling SSAFA’s confidential helpline, Forcesline on 0800 731 4880. You can also start a live chat here.
About SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity
SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity has been providing lifelong support to our Forces and their families since 1885. Last year our teams of volunteers and employees helped more than 85,000 people in need, from Second World War veterans to young men and women who have served in more recent conflicts, and their families. SSAFA understands that behind every uniform is a person. We are here for that person – any time they need us, in any way they need us, for as long as they need.
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