By Angela Green, Content Executive, H&C News: Sodexo helps SSAFA’s life-changing work tackling homelessness continue.
Since 2008, funding from Sodexo’s Stop Hunger Foundation has provided urgent welfare provision to those most in need from the Armed Forces community, particularly veterans and their families across all the three services (army, navy and RAF).
Sodexo’s support has enabled the rapid delivery of financial assistance, help with the purchase of vital white goods, and distributing emergency food supplies.
Commenting, Sir Andrew Gregory, CEO of SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity said: “SSAFA is delighted to maintain its long-standing relationship with Sodexo, a relationship that makes a real and practical difference to those in our Armed Forces community who need support.
“And that help from Sodexo, which includes its Stop Hunger initiative that provides financial assistance to SSAFA’s Homelessness Fund, is as vital today as it has ever been. Perhaps, sadly, it is more vital now.
“Anecdotally, our Forcesline team of support workers are reporting a change in the tone of calls received since the cost-of-living crisis began to bite this year, with callers demonstrating increased levels of anxiety and stress, and – worryingly – deteriorating levels of mental health.
“This is a situation that is not going to end or even improve soon, but with the four-square support of Sodexo for our military community – from WWII veterans to more recent conflicts, not forgetting those who served in the Falklands – SSAFA will continue to provide compassionate and real help whenever, wherever, and however needed just as it has for 137 years.”
In total, Sodexo has given more than £400,000 to SSAFA in those 15 years, allowing the UK’s oldest tri-service charity to help serving personnel, veterans, and their families with support when, where, and how they need it, and grants from the fund are also a vital resource for volunteer caseworkers to find a swift resolution to urgent cases.
Paul Anstey, Sodexo’s CEO Government, Sodexo UK & Ireland and Stop Hunger Trustee added: “I am incredibly proud to support SSAFA, it is a fantastic charity that’s particularly close to our hearts, and the brilliant work it does to support the serving military, veterans and their families is inspiring. Creating a positive impact plays a key part in our social impact pledge and in supporting SSAFA’s Homelessness Fund, we’re able to see a positive, tangible impact on the military community. Our longstanding partnership with SSAFA also enables our people to use their skills to help the communities in which we operate through employee fundraising, volunteering and mentoring.”
As an early signatory of the Armed Forces Covenant, Sodexo is committed to the continual support in the employment of ex-armed forces personnel and their families as well as those employees who are members of the Reserves.
In 2017 Sodexo was awarded the Gold Employer Recognition Award by the Ministry of Defence in recognition of the company’s commitment and efforts to support the entire Armed Force community through its strong policies which include:
- The positive recruitment of ex-military personnel.
- The provision of employment opportunities for the spouses of service personnel posted into areas where Sodexo holds a contract.
- A flexible approach to granting leave for employees which are members of the Reserves.
- A partnership approach to supporting service charities such as SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity.