Local veterans Shaun and Ashley met while they were being supported by SSAFA’s Glasgow Helping Heroes – a partnership between SSAFA and Glasgow City Council to help those who are serving or have served in the Armed Forces, or their families.
How did they meet?
SSAFA ambassador and Coronation Street star, Antony Cotton, spoke with Shaun and Ashley about how the charity brought them together when they both fell on uncertain times.
Shaun and Ashley found themselves at Scottish Veterans Residence, Bellrock Close in Glasgow, where they were being supported by SSAFA. The pair were initially neighbours before Ashley made the first move.
She said: “I went to go and get some steaks and chips for dinner, but I bought too many, so I thought as a veteran, we’re taught to share what we have so I tapped his [Shaun’s] door just initially to get to know him and ask him if he wanted to have dinner with me.”
She continued: “When I came back to Glasgow, I didn’t have anything but with the help and support of SSAFA, they’ve helped me. The charity understand servicemen and women’s point of view, whereas I wouldn’t have had a clue and I wouldn’t have met my husband.”
The pair were married in Gretna last year and are now living in their own home with their beloved dog, Blue, thanks to the support they received from SSAFA’s Glasgow Helping Heroes.
Her husband, Shaun, added: “Right from the start they were willing to listen to your story before they go about the support – they want to know what they can do for you, rather than other charities just telling you what they can do. They listen to you, and you work with them from the beginning.”
SSAFA, which has 20 branches and five committees in Scotland, is thanking supporters this Valentine’s Day, and sharing the SSAFA love with those who have gone the extra mile to support members of the Armed Force, like Shaun and Ashley.
Antony Cotton joined Shaun and Ashley via Zoom to celebrate Valentine’s Day and discuss the support SSAFA provides to serving personnel, veterans, and their families, in which he said: “SSAFA has helped you in many ways, including with support. The charity has been a voice on the end of the phone, it’s been someone that makes you feel like you’re not screaming into the wind. The charity has essentially become your friend.”
He continued: “Armed Forces personnel, veterans and serving, speak a different language so that’s why civilians have a difficult time understanding and that’s why SSAFA is so important and so brilliant, they bridge the gap between service personnel and civilians. Otherwise, it’s like you’re screaming into the wind.”
SSAFA is celebrating supporters this Valentine’s Day. To find out more about SSAFA, visit ssafa.org.uk