EAMBA 2018 Major Grant to SSAFA


The process of establishing where to allocate your donations is a rigorous one, many charities are considered and from those that satisfy all of our Association’s criteria a short list is drawn up. Further clarification and details are sought and a final choice is made.

The EAMBA 2018 Major Grants
have been awarded to the


Many of you will know that this is a charity offering lifelong support to all our armed services personnel and their families. Our Province has branches of SSAFA in the three counties and a Grant of £15000.00 has been awarded (see below). All SSAFA branches have a common theme in so far as they are all self governing in terms of their operating costs, their own priorities and a number of specified, dedicated programmes. It is worth noting that the Trustees of the EAMBA have “thought outside the box” in awarding this grant, as you will see indicated below.

Suffolk SSAFA - Grant £5000

Suffolk requested a grant which would enable them to provide all active case workers with a standard 3-in-1 printer, scanner, copier with an ink supply contract. This would enable them to meet the need to have a standard format for all documents, facilitate the transfer of authorised documents and papers between the individual and the branch secretary and to meet the new requirement under the regulations of the charity. This facility would hugely benefit the individual case worker, improve efficiency, simplify and speed up day to day capture of necessary data beneficiary.

SSAFA Suffolk

Cambridgeshire SSAFA - Grant £5000

Cambridgeshire highlighted the need to carry out mental health training for their volunteers. These problems are predicted to increase dramatically over the next few years, up to tenfold the current rate. Early recognition of a possible problem area saves time, effort and resources. Basic volunteer training by a recognised provider [NHS] would elevate not only these established concerns but be invaluable to individuals and their families. They also want to improve their IT capabilities. IT is used extensively within SSAFA with most volunteers using their own equipment, but a grant towards providing a “tablet” form of computer for use when “in the field” would be very useful. There are a number of forms to be completed and whilst the paperwork is diminishing a realistic approach would be to centralise it by use of a “tablet”.



Norfolk SSAFA - Grant £5000

SSAFA identified a very real need in Norfolk to be more visible to the general public. This should not only prompt more donations but also have a desired effect in recruiting more volunteers for their considerable work load. A presence at the Norfolk Show - some 80,000 visitors would give maximum exposure to SSAFA, and the EAMBA. It is 100 years since the end of WW1 and will be a major part of the national awareness campaign. SSAFA has not had a  presence at the show for a number of years due to the costs involved. This grant would help to provide a marquee holding promotional material, manned by volunteer case workers highlighting the immense contribution to the local community.


The EAMBA prides itself on early intervention and consequently the need is reduced by that method of approach. These submissions by the SSAFA branches will enable their work to be carried out more efficiently and effectively and impact directly on the service personnel and their families. I know we have a number of ex service men in our order and I am conscious that it would be a suitable salute to all who gave so much during the past 100 years. It is fitting for our organisation to recognise that a growing number of individuals who have served our country, and their families need support, require our help, we have in some measure given that help with these grants.

R.W.Bro Paul Anthony Norman
Provincial Grand Master

SSAFA Homepage

Presentation of "Mark Mason" to SERV Norfolk Blood Bikes

SERV 2017 top

On behalf of the Mark Benevolent Fund (MBF) it was my great pleasure to present to Service by Emergency Response Volunteers (SERV) Norfolk Blood Bikes a new Ford Motor Car at Gt Yarmouth Masonic Hall.

The sun was shining on the liveried car, escorted by three magnificent blood bikes and their drivers and riders. SERV had asked for this vehicle to replace an older and less reliable motor, and because blood and other human products cannot be transported on a motor bike when the temperature drops below 3 degrees, as such a car is vital to their voluntary work. If you would like to aid them in their work speak to W.Bro. Colin Farrington.

All of the vehicles driven by SERV are named, and it was fitting that ours is to be called “Mark Mason”, you will be able to see the car covering the county of Norfolk when it is called upon by the NHS. As I stated in my remarks we hope and pray that the driver travels safely to his destination and home again.

I was particularly pleased to have so many members of the Province and their partners together with a large contingent from SERV Norfolk attending this handover. We were able to welcome several gentlemen of the Press, so look out for print, radio, TV and on line editorial of the event.

I am most grateful to the MBF for their agreement to grant such a magnificent sum to enable this car to be purchased and liveried outright. The MBF was represented by R.W.Bro Peter Rollin an MBF Trustee.

It was a proud moment when I dedicated the car to the service of the Great Overseer of the Universe and hoped that it would support the very valuable service to our communities, providing comfort to the afflicted and distressed and safety to the drivers. I presented the keys of this new car to Colin Farrington, Chairman of SERV Norfolk and expressed a hope that “Mark Mason” becomes a valued member of the team,

The day was completed by a welcome cup of tea or coffee supplied by the Masonic Hall, we were even allowed biscuits; thank you all.

See also article in the Eastern Daily Press: CLICK HERE

IMAGES FROM THE DAY (Click to enlarge):