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Volunteers asked to answer the call to help veterans' charity during coronavirus pandemic; SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, reveals survey stats showing 60 per cent of people 'wish they had done more' during first lockdown

By Hector MacKenzie

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THE latest Covid-19 lockdown has prompted a fresh plea for volunteers from a charity that looks after veterans.

And SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, has released survey results showing that 74 per cent of people asked agree they felt inspired by seeing their communities come together during the pandemic.

The charity is calling on the public to help their local Armed Forces community this new year by volunteering for SSAFA.

Over 60 per cent of those surveyed agree that they wish that had done more to support others during the Covid-19 pandemic – and nearly 40 per cent agree that they felt there wasn’t enough support available to those who need it.

Just over half (51.62 per cent) of those surveyed admitted that they did not make any community contributions during the pandemic.

But with nearly nine in 10 of those surveyed agreeing that they care about the veteran community, the charity is now calling on the public to carry on the positive lessons learned in 2020 by helping to support the Forces family now.

SSAFA provides financial, practical and emotional support for serving personnel, veterans and military families across the UK and worldwide. Thousands of SSAFA volunteers are crucial in supporting those hit hardest by the pandemic.

The roles are varied, flexible and very rewarding, giving back to those that have served. Previous experience isn’t necessary as training will be provided. All backgrounds and experiences are welcomed, and a military background is not essential.

The Covid-19 outbreak and pandemic has had a huge impact on the Armed Forces community, with many more seeking help than ever before. SSAFA’s free and confidential helpline, Forcesline, saw an 80% increase from the same time during 2019.

Sir Andrew Gregory, CEO at SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, said: “During the Covid-19 pandemic, communities have come together in an exemplary manner and a sense of community spirit and collective grit has shone through; some have likened this to the sentiments felt by the nation during the Blitz.

"Volunteers have been at the heart of SSAFA throughout our 135-year history, helping, when necessary, those who serve this Nation in our Armed Forces and their families regain their independence and dignity.I would encourage those who want to help their local community to volunteer for SSAFA; particularly in these challenging times, you can make a great difference and we need your time and support more than ever.”

Everyone who offers their time to volunteer with SSAFA makes a huge difference, the charity says.

If you are interested in volunteering for SSAFA, please visit ssafa.org.uk

Related: Highland residents urged to look out for neighbours as temperatures plummet

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