The Battle Proms is proud to support SSAFA - the Armed Forces charity
While our events are very much a summer celebration, we are always mindful of the fact that music such as the Battle Symphony was written to commemorate a battle in which lives were lost, and that war continues today, in various guises, with the men and women of the armed forces still facing incredibly traumatic experiences.
As a result, the Battle Proms team decided several years ago to use our concerts as a platform to support armed forces charities. We are delighted to confirm that we have now raised £389,555.36 through audience donations and contributions from concert profits.
In 2018 we selected a new charity partner: SSAFA - the Armed Forces charity, who offer lifelong support for our Forces and their families, whenever and wherever it is needed.
Thank you to everyone who donated to SSAFA at our concerts this year - between us we raised £54,640.91 this year alone!
SSAFA IN ACTION: Adoption
When Chief Petty Officer Oliver and his wife Catherine decided to adopt, they tried their local authority first. But nobody understood their situation as a military family until they came to SSAFA for help.
“My neighbour showed me a SSAFA advert. I called up and they were so nice. We lived in a two bedroom flat and weren’t going to be entitled to another bedroom until we were approved to adopt. The local authority just didn’t appreciate the challenges of military life, but SSAFA understood, which made things a lot easier. We didn’t want to move out of the area and disrupt our birth son’s schooling. Our SSAFA social worker wrote a letter explaining the situation and we got a bigger house in the same area. A couple of weeks later we were approved to adopt.” Catherine and Oliver successfully adopted their new son when he was just nine months old.
SSAFA IN ACTION: Volunteers in the Community
Bernard joined the RAF as an aircraft mechanic at the age of 18. At 22, he was released from the Forces but didn’t become involved with the SSAFA Southend Veterans Club until he was 90. Now he enjoys spending time with fellow ex-service men and women.
“When I was demobbed, I was finished with the RAF. It was only after my wife died that I had to get used to living alone and didn’t go out much anymore. I then decided to join SSAFA’s veterans club. Now I’m involved in all sorts of activities, I’ve met new people, and we have lots of banter and laughter. I come once a week, it’s a complete change, very enjoyable and it’s the best day of my week.”
SSAFA IN ACTION: Bereavement Support
Mandy, 39, who served 12 years in the RAF Police, has been supported throughout by SSAFA caseworker Sue Cross after her ex-husband committed suicide. SSAFA was able to provide vital practical assistance and emotional support ranging from sourcing funding to cover funeral costs to arranging bereavement counselling for Mandy’s son.
“I worked quite closely with SSAFA volunteers when I was in the air force and it’s always been a charity I have supported. You just never think it will be you that needs help. The last year has certainly given me a new outlook on life. Now every weekend I have off work my son and I are out exploring and making the most of our time together.”
To learn more about our charity partner go to ssafa.org.uk