On the 13th July, the highly esteemed and world renowned Band of the Scots Guards will be making a rare appearance in Wiltshire for a live concert at the Neeld, raising money for SSAFA – an armed forces charity who provide lifelong support for service personnel, veterans and their families.
The Band of the Scots Guards were originally formed in 1642 by King Charles, and since have performed for troops during both World Wars and were the only Foot Guards Band to be deployed on active service during the Gulf War . Nearly 400 years after their inception, the band still travel the world over, and in recent years has visited Australia, Bermuda, South Korea, France, Switzerland, Italy and of course Scotland.
Without doubt, a big aim of the band’s concert is to raise vital funds for SSAFA. We wanted to know more about the charity, their fantastic work, and their involvement and presence in Wiltshire. So we asked them a few questions…
What work do SSAFA do in Wiltshire?
SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity provides lifelong support to anyone who is currently serving or has ever served in the Royal Navy, British Army or Royal Air Force, and their families. This includes both regulars and reserves. We help over 1,000 veterans, their families and service personnel in the local community each year, and we rely on public donations to continue our work. Our commitment is to provide support with experienced, non-judgemental and friendly advice, as well as a variety of practical services which cover a range of social, family and financial issues.
SSAFA operates across the whole county of Wiltshire, with day to day work organised through a network of locally-based divisions. This local presence, run by local people, ensures we are best placed to respond quickly and positively to client need.
How long have you been operating in Wiltshire?
The charity has been in existence since 1885, and we have been reaching out to the military community in every corner of the land, including Wiltshire, ever since.
What SSAFA projects have been happening in Wiltshire recently?
During the WW1 centenary period (2014-2018), SSAFA Wiltshire has been concentrating on its unique WW1 heritage. We are the only military charity there at the start of WW1 that is still operating today. SSAFA Wiltshire’s One Hundred Hearts arts project, based on original sweetheart pincushions, began in the county and will continue to be seen at various venues over the commemorative period.
What ways can people in Wiltshire help SSAFA and those in the armed forces?
Supporting SSAFA in Wiltshire can take many forms; putting some coins in the pot when you see us out collecting; joining in with our Big Brew Up fundraisers or even organising one of your own; helping us out by coming along to events or signing up to be a volunteer – all of these things are Helping Us to Help Them, enabling us to continue supporting the Forces family, as we have since 1885.
Tickets for the fundraiser with the Band of the Scots Guards are available from http://www.neeld.co.uk/event/concert-band-scots-guards