Celebrating work of charity’s volunteers

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An armed forces charity celebrated the dedication of thousands of volunteers at its 130th annual meeting

Members of the West Yorkshire Branch of Soldiers’ Sailors’ Airmen’s and Families Association (SSAFA) met at Morley Town Hall last Wednesday.

The charity also recognised the work and commitment of some members, who were presented with Long Service Awards.

Lieutenant Colonel Pillar, director of volunteer operations at SSAFA, said the organisation “could not operate” without volunteers.

Around 7,000 people give up their time for the charity, which supports service men and women and their families.

Cnl Pillar said: “Across the SSAFA network we have around 7,000 volunteers, without their dedication can commitment SSAFA could not operate.

“From the early days, SSAFA has been a volunteer led organisation and for the last 130 years our family volunteers have helped and supported those who are currently serving, those who have served and their families.

“I’m pleased to be here in West Yorkshire, where 130 years ago this year one of the very first SSAFA Branches was formed in Wakefield.”

Cnl Pillar told the meeting about her work with the SSAFA and her career in the army.

She held the rank of Lieutenant Colonel as Commanding Officer of three military intelligence battalions based in London.

SSAFA county chairman Terry Grayshon and Cnl Pillar presented Long Service Awards during the meeting to a number of volunteers from across the region.

People who received a certificate included Barbara Melville, from Pudsey, who has been a case work volunteer for 10 years, and Frank Hoyle, from Ilkley, who has been a fundraising volunteer for 15 years.

For more information about the charity visit www.ssafa.org.uk