The Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen & Families Association - Forces Help (SSAFA)


Assist ex-servicemen/women & dependants with benefit advice, welfare, housing rights etc. Able to assist with disabled equipment.

Our mission:

We want our Armed Forces (both Regular and Reserves), veterans and their families to know they can depend on SSAFA for support now and for the rest of their lives. Our values mean we are committed, practical and understanding.

We work in partnership with other military charities and specialist organisations to ensure that those who turn to us for help get the support they need.

Working with charities

We work with hundreds of service and non-service charities to make life easier for our Armed Forces, veterans and their families. With every new case, our trained volunteers assess what support their client needs and help them to access this assistance. This often involves applying for funds from our partner charities. Last year, our volunteers raised an incredible £14.6 million on behalf of individual beneficiaries. During these visits they provide friendly advice and discuss the support our clients might need.

We are the longest serving national tri-service military charity. For 130 years, we have provided lifelong support to those who are serving or have ever served in our Armed Forces.

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Today nearly five million people living in the United Kingdom are estimated to have served in the Armed Forces at some point in their lives. Every year, around 20,000 servicemen and women leave the services and return to civilian life.

That's why our work is so important. We believe that those who have served their country should get the best possible support when they need it.

Who we help

Our support covers both Regulars and Reserves in the British Army, the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force and their families, including anyone who has completed National Service. They are all entitled to lifelong support from SSAFA, no matter how long they have served. 

Every year we support some 55,000 people - that's 150 every day.

What we do

We have been serving the Armed Forces community for 130 years and our experience has helped us understand the unique demands of service life. We are continually updating what we do to ensure we meet the changing needs of servicemen and women, veterans and their families.

SSAFA works in partnership with other military charities and specialist organisations to ensure that those who turn to us for help get the support they need.

We put Armed Forces families at the heart of everything we do.

Welfare advice and support

We help serving personnel, veterans and their families across the UK. Our network of around 7,000 committed volunteers worldwide offer welfare support for people from throughout the military community, from World War Two veterans to the families of young service personnel wounded in Afghanistan. Our network of branches provide help for veterans and their families in the community. Our service volunteers work on military bases to help families meet the challenges of service life.

Health & Social Care services

Our professional staff give direct support to serving personnel and their families in the UK and overseas through contracts to the NHS and Ministry of Defence. Our doctors, nurses, midwives and social workers deliver health and community care for British Forces in Germany and worldwide.

We also provide Personal Support and Social Work Services at RAF bases throughout the UK and social work support across the world.

Specialist services

Armed Forces families face unique challenges and so it is important that we provide services that address their specific needs. These services address a variety of unique welfare needs and issues experienced by military families:

Karla Ellis

The SSAFA meetings were an escape. I felt like I was doing something positive from it all.

Karla Ellis, founding member of our Bereaved Families Support Group

Services for children

Armed Forces families can find it difficult to access the services they need because they move so often. Our staff and volunteers are here to help with:


Our accomodation meets the different needs of the serving and veterans communities:

Through our charitable services, health & social care contracts and specialist services, we help and support around 90,000 people worldwide every year.

How we're run

We are governed by a board of Trustees who make and approve SSAFA policy. They oversee our Chief Executive and his Executive team who together look after to day to day management of the charity.

More about the governance of SSAFA.

Where we are

SSAFA provides support wherever it is needed in the UK and worldwide:

  • Our volunteer network reaches into every county of the UK and 13 countries around the world.
  • Volunteers in our 90 branches provide advice and support to veterans and their families living in local communities.
  • Our Service Committees work on army garrisons, RAF stations and naval establishments with over 60 Committees across the UK and wherever our Forces are based worldwide.

Our health care and social work services support the Armed Forces community in 13 countries.

How we fund our work

Our charitable work is financed by contributions from benevolent funds, generous donations from members of the public and the profits generated by our Health and Social Care department who are contracted by the NHS and Ministry of Defence to provide direct support to serving personnel and their families in the UK and overseas.

Find more detail about how we fund our services in our reports and publications.


Who to contact

0800 917 0970 0800 917 0970
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Where to go

185, Lincoln Road


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