Military bases across the UK are celebrating the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA) Forces Help 125th anniversary this week by taking part in this year's annual Big Brew Up.
The Big Brew Up week is an annual event which this year runs from 4 to 10 October 2010 and sees money being raised for SSAFA Forces Help through the sale of cups of tea at special events across the UK and wherever British forces are based around the world.
SSAFA Forces Help is a national charity committed to helping and supporting those who serve in the UK’s Armed Forces, those who used to serve, and their families.
One of the tea-related events took place at the MOD’s Main Building today where civilian and military staff gathered in the building’s Pillared Hall to make their contributions to the charity.
Attending the event was the Minister for International Security Strategy, Gerald Howarth, who addressed the other tea drinkers, saying:
Obviously I’m very pleased to be here on behalf of the ministerial team to thank SSAFA for everything that they do and for organising this Big Brew event. It serves to remind people of the fantastic job that SSAFA does for the Service community.
“There are 7,000 volunteers but there are also 700 professionals; the volunteers obviously don’t get paid, but the professionals do, and it is terribly important that we raise the money to ensure that they can carry on with their job of helping something like 50,000 people a year.
In the Big Society of which the Prime Minister has spoken, organisations like SSAFA add massively to what the Government does. It is important to remind ourselves what SSAFA stands for: Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families. Families. It is terribly important that all of us understand that those on the front line are hugely dependent upon their families and, therefore, so is the nation.
As well as Big Brew Up events being held across the country, SSAFA are encouraging people to hold Big Breakfasts at work and parties with friends to help raise money and awareness.