AT the recent annual general meeting of the Fife Branch of the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA) Forces Help, a total of 100 years of service was recognised with the award of long service badges and certificates to several volunteers.
The branch chairman, Captain (Retd) Alison Halford-Macleod, invited Margaret Dean, HM Lord Lieutenant of Fife and patron of SSAFA Fife, to present the awards to Ossie Prest (20 years), John Paxton (15 years), Sir Moray Stewart, Drew Gillespie, Trish Welsh, Jean Cox (10 years), Isobel Kynoch, Truda Meiklejohn, Les Soper, Ann Hill and Kate Gray (five years).
Mrs Dean paid tribute to all the volunteers who give so much of their time and expertise for the benefit of the ex-service community in Fife.
She said: “It is the selfless activities of people like these that enable Scotland’s community and voluntary sector to thrive even through difficult times.”
Guest speaker at the AGM was General Sir Kevin O’Donaghue KCB CBE, chairman SSAFA Forces Help, who gave a very interesting talk and updated those present about the work the charity is doing nationally.
He also talked about the military covenant which sets out the relationship between the nation, the state and the armed forces.
General O’Donaghue said: “The covenant recognises that the whole nation has a moral obligation to members of the armed forces and their families, and it establishes how they should expect to be treated.
“It exists to redress the disadvantages that the armed forces’ community faces in comparison to other citizens, and to recognise sacrifices made.
“In some cases, this will require special consideration, especially for those who have given the most, such as the injured and the bereaved.” He continued: “SSAFA Forces Help Fife works very closely with our colleagues from other services’ charities and local authorities to deliver a wide range of support to ex-servicemen, women and their families throughout Fife and the rest of the UK.”
The scope and scale of SSAFA’s work is enormous.
In the last 12 months alone, more than 50,000 people were helped by the charity, young and old alike.
In Fife last year, SSAFA dealt with 331 cases and awarded grants of over £311,000.
If you know of anyone who might need assistance from SSAFA Forces Help, or if you can spare some time as a volunteer, contact the secretary on 01592 263714.
•Our photograph shows, from left, Sir Moray Stewart (branch president), Capt (Retd) Alison Halford-MacLeod, Mrs Dean and General O’Donaghue.