New role with military charity

Margaret Markey, handed over the reins as Chairman Of The Lincolnshire Branch Of The Soldier's, Sailor's, Airman's Families Association (SSAFA) to Andy Ingham.

Margaret Markey, handed over the reins as Chairman Of The Lincolnshire Branch Of The Soldier's, Sailor's, Airman's Families Association (SSAFA) to Andy Ingham.

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An ex-RAF Wing Commander from Heckington is the new chairman of the Lincolnsire branch of the UK’s oldest national military charity.

Andy Ingham, 62, has taken up the role with SSAFA (Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen Families’ Association).

The charity works to provide lifelong support for British Armed Forces service personnel and veterans and their families.

Mr Ingham joined SSAFA as a case worker after retiring as a wing commander in the RAF in 2008; ahead of this, he served in the RAF regiment for 37 years.

He has been vice-chairman with the SSAFA for two years and takes on the role of chairman from Margaret Markey, from Stamford, who steps down after 10 years’ service.

Speaking to the Standard, he said: “I look forward to the challenge of implementing new procedures introduced by central office to streamline our activities with modern technology.

“The Lincolnshire branch of SSAFA is held in high regard and I hope that our volunteers can continue to provide a worthwhile service to our clients.”

Dating back to 1885, SSAFA is the UK’s oldest national military charity.

A case study released by the charity this week illustrates the difference it can make to people’s lives.

In this, the charity came to the aid of a former RAF serviceman living in Leasingham.

After accumulating debts, the individual found himself homeless and suffering from depression.

He stayed with family for a short period before SSAFA secured almost £3,000 from the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund and a further £1,000 from the Royal British Legion.

This funding paid for a deposit, rent and furniture for a home.

The charity says the man has now turned his life around, adding he is currently working as a builder in the Leasingham area.

Mr Ingham described this case as the charity’s ‘bread and butter’, saying SSAFA can assist in a range of situations, including financial difficulties, mobility challenges or where carers are needed.

He said: “There is a whole variety of things we can do.”

If you or your family have service connections and need support, or would like more information on becoming a caseworker, contact either the branch secretary on 0115 9573289 or by email at ssafa.lincs@btconnect.com, or the branch publicity officer on 01507 600578 or by email at radford87@btinternet.com.

For more on the SSAFA, go to www.ssafa.org.uk.