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Leeds: It’s servicemen with a smile at ex-forces Big Brew event

Customer Malcolm Dodd, left, with John Turley an SSAFA fundraiser, Private Dan Davies of 4 Battalion Yorkshire Regiment and Janet Hart, the manager at NatWest in Park Row, Leeds.

Customer Malcolm Dodd, left, with John Turley an SSAFA fundraiser, Private Dan Davies of 4 Battalion Yorkshire Regiment and Janet Hart, the manager at NatWest in Park Row, Leeds.

They say an Army marches on its stomach.

And yesterday, (Oct 26) veterans and cadets tucked into tea and biscuits when they joined in the Big Brew at a Leeds bank.

The event, at NatWest on Park Row, aimed to raise funds and awareness for the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA) which provides practical support to service personnel past and present and their families.

Bernard Mason, 70, is a SSAFA volunteer who served in the Territorial Army for 20 years and was based in Germany and Oman.

He said: “I was in the forces throughout my life.

“I’d always known about SSAFA and I saw a shop sign saying ‘SSAFA volunteers wanted’. I thought I’ll go in for a chat so I walked in and I’ve never come out since.

“We’re the poor relations of the Help for Heroes and the Royal British Legion in many ways but there are a lot of people out there who need our help.

“We recently helped a 98-year-old lady who’s practically blind because her husband was in the Army. She only wanted a pair of slippers and a clock so we got them for her.

“It might only be a little thing but that’s made a big difference to her life.”

Terry Grayshon, Yorkshire chairman of SSAFA, said: “People have put £5 and £10 notes into the collection buckets, which is great, but the money isn’t the most important thing, it’s raising the awareness of SSAFA.”

 

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