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Chairman hosts Forces charity distributing Xmas hampers to veterans

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Devon County Council’s Chairman Jeff Trail BEM hosted representatives of SSAFA The Armed Forces Charity on Thursday for the annual presentation of festive hampers for families in need.

The Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA) is a UK charity which supports serving personnel and veterans from the British Armed Forces and their families.

They provide physical and emotional support, and they help with issues affecting former service personnel including addiction, relationship breakdown, debt, homelessness, post-traumatic stress, depression, and disability.

Joining Councillor Trail, a former Royal Marine, was the Chair of SSAFA Devon Branch Brigadier Andrew Pillar OBE and Group Capt. (Retd) Gordon Evans representing the Lord Lieutenancy.

Leader of DCC Councillor John Hart and Councillor Rob Hannaford were also in attendance.

Every year the Devon branch of the charity, in partnership with Age UK Devon, provide locally sourced Christmas hampers to needy veterans and their families.

This is the 13th year of the scheme and this year 110 Christmas hampers worth £12,000 will be distributed to families across Devon.

Councillor Jeff Trail, BEM, Chairman of Devon County Council said:

“There are more than 100,000 veterans living in Devon and we have a duty to ensure that that those who serve, or have served, and their families, are supported. Many service personnel experience difficulties as a result of their experiences and can find the transition to civvy-street difficult. I want to thank charities like the SSAFA who provide a safety net for those who need a helping hand.”

Terry Cuthbertson MBE of SSAFA Devon Branch said:

“I want to thank our anonymous donor for their generosity; these hampers are really going to make a difference to families this year. I also want to thank our friends at The Baton, a Honiton based Charity offering support to the Military Family, for their continued financial support for an additional four hampers.”