Five selfless individuals from Cornwall received recognition for their military charity work when they were presented with service awards for their work with the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA) by Prince Michael of Kent. The presentation ceremony was held in Lanhydrock Golf and Country Club, during the annual general meeting of the Association’s Cornwall branch.
The recipients of the awards were Peter Cowling, from Mylor; Peter and Mary Judson, from Bude; Judy Wood, from Millbrook; and Sir Robert Woodard. Sir Robert was formerly the commander of the Royal Yacht Britannia.
The awardees spoke about their work with the charity with nothing but fondness. “I can’t think of a more worthwhile way of helping those in need in Cornwall than being part of this unsung but essential organisation,” said Sir Robert, who has been involved with the charity for 20 years.
Meanwhile, Mr Cowling, who, until recently, served as the Cornwall branch chairperson said: “My ten years as chairman in Cornwall have just flown by, and this recognition should really be for all those SSAFA caseworkers who are changing people’s lives on a daily basis.”
The present branch secretary, Barry Wilkinson, had a few kind words to add about Peter Judson and Judy Wood. “Peter is a retired Lieutenant Commander in the Royal Navy, and they have both done casework for SSAFA for 25 years, which consists of meeting clients, assessing their needs and then bidding to the appropriate charity for funding,” he said, adding: “Judy Wood, who is married to Rear Admiral Mike Wood, has been a caseworker in that area for the past ten years. She is shortly to become the treasurer for the Mid and East Cornwall SSAFA divisions.”
The Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA) is a tri-service military charity that works in partnership with other military charities to support injured servicemen and their families. A network of around 7,000 volunteers offers welfare advice and health and social care services to the military community, from World War Two veterans to those who served in Afghanistan. The Association also offers accomodation options, support groups for families, and services for children, and manages to help nearly 90,000 people every year.
The SSAFA was set up in 1885 as the Soldiers and Sailors Families Association. The Queen’s great-grandmother, Queen Alexandra (then the Princess of Wales) was the first President of the Association. In 1919, following the inception of the Royal Air Force in the previous year, the name was changed to the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association. The current President of the SSAFA is Prince Michael of Kent, who has held the position since 1982.