Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 5°C

min temp: -1°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Suffolk: SSAFA chairman Kevin O’Donoghue leads tributes to charity’s ‘foot-soldiers’ at AGM in Needham Market

13:33 25 March 2014

SSAFA AGM

SSAFA AGM

Archant

A distinguished Army veteran has paid glowing tributes to a military charity’s Suffolk volunteers and their tireless work helping past and present servicemen.

Kevin O’Donoghue, who served as the UK’s military representative to NATO, attended the Suffolk branch of the Soldiers’ Sailors’ and Airmen’s Families Associaton (SSAFA) AGM at Needham Market Community Centre last week.

Mr O’Donoghue, who is also the charity’s national chairman, congratulated the branch on its “outstanding work” and paid thanks to the volunteer case workers who give their time to help those in need.

“I am humbled by the amount of time the foot-soldiers – the case workers – actually give,” he said.

Outlining his key messages, Mr O’Donoghue, who was made the British Army’s first Chief of Defence Materiel in 2007, added: “We really are needed, we are doing a great job in all that we do and volunteers are at the heart of SSAFA – our charity is led by volunteers and run by volunteers and I think it is fairly unique in that. I think the volunteers, the foot-solders, the tip of the spear will still be the workhorses and the future of SSAFA.”

The meeting, which was attended by dozens of dignitaries from across the county, including the mayors of Ipswich, Stowmarket, Felixstowe and Needham Market, saw further acknowledgement of the volunteers’ efforts throughout 2013.

Branch chairman Robin Newell highlighted the 295 cases completed throughout the year and the £167,000 raised from various military and civilian charities as examples of their success.

“I believe our case workers come from the rich vein running through our society made up of people giving up their time and effort for those who are less fortunate,” he said.

Although the number of completed cases were down on the figure for 2012, Mr O’Donoghue, based on his experiences from a national perspective, said the “cost and complexity” of those undertaken had probably risen.

Further praise was offered in respect to the branch’s growing programme of charity fundraisers, which last year included garden parties, tea parties, sky dives, street collections and a sponsored mobility scooter trek.

Lord Tollemache, the Suffolk branch patron, also expressed his admiration for the charity.

“Suffolk and Kent were the first branches of SSAFA – and the Suffolk branch is still brilliantly run and a leader for all branches in the UK,” he said. “I think it’s brilliant, what you all do.”

Five of the case workers were singled out for particular praise in honour of their long-term service to the charity. Suzanne Cross, Charles Scott, Simon Marchant, Josephine Marchant and John Burn all received their annual service awards.

The charity is appealing for two volunteer bookkeepers, with knowledge in accounting, to join their team. If you can help contact the Suffolk branch on 01787 377850.

0 comments

Friars Hall Nursing Home in Hadleigh has been ranked inadequate by inspectors.

A criminal investigation has been launched by police into a failing care home in Hadleigh at which a resident died.

On-call firefighters complete their training at RAF Wattisham.

A lorry has burst into flames following a crash with a car on the A14 westbound in Suffolk close to Needham Market.

The scene of the armed robbery outside the Halifax branch in The Newlands shopping centre in Witham. Pic: Nigel Brown.

Two serial armed robbers who raided banks in Witham and Great Dunmow received a warning today they could face life sentences.

Old Alderman Blaxhill School. Now The Stanway Federation Learning Centre.

Outline plans for a new 900 pupil secondary school in Colchester have been given the green light by Essex County Council.

Food inspectors (stock image).  Picture by Simon Finlay

Urgent improvements have been demanded of three food businesses in east Suffolk, according to hygiene inspection reports.

A person has died and another is seriously injured after an 'explosion in a boiler room' of a ship

A crewman has died after a boiler backfired in the engine room of the Manhattan Bridge container ship as it was docking at Felixstowe port last night – causing an “explosion”.

Cats Protection has said its staff will always carry ID when collecting cats.

Animal welfare charities in Suffolk have urged caution over who found pets are given to after reports of a woman in Ipswich posing as an animal welfare officer to obtain a cat found by a homeowner in their garden.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24