New SSAFA Branch Chairman required as Graham McMellin steps down

13 October 2021

Hertfordshire SSAFA branch chairman Graham McMellin is due to retire after serving his region for Nineteen years; paving the way for a new chairperson to take up the mantle.

Former Group Captain Graham McMellin, began volunteering at SSAFA in 2002, becoming a caseworker, responsible for meeting beneficiaries (members of the Armed Forces community) and helping them when they found themselves in times of hardship. Graham’s interest in IT led him to assist in the development, and uptake of the online casework management system (CMS). In 2011 Graham became Chairman of the Hertfordshire SSAFA branch, and three years later was awarded SSAFA’s Prince Michael of Kent award for his work on CMS, and subsequently SSAFA’s prestigious Gildea award for his work on the CMS replacement MOSAIC.

As a tribute to Graham, Judith Borland Regional Chair East said, “He has been a dedicated volunteer for SSAFA and was always ready to help a fellow volunteer especially with the new Mosaic system. He will continue as a caseworker and any beneficiary will be most fortunate to have Graham assist with their needs.

“Graham is a fine example of how rewarding it is to give time to others.”

Despite being a veteran himself Graham is keen to say that it is not essential to be one to volunteer with SSAFA: “No matter one’s background, helping a veteran is thanking them for their Service on your behalf,” he went on to say “There are so many aspects of Service in the Armed Forces that one’s particular experience is not necessarily an advantage over someone with no military background – we all approach a potential beneficiary with the same intention of ascertaining the problem and assisting the resolution.

A Branch Chair’s time commitment is normally 2 - 3 hrs a week throughout the year with the occasional full day to attend AGMs (2-4 times a year), Regional Chairmen’s meetings (4 times a year) and SSAFA Association/Chairmen’s meetings (3 times a year). Within Hertfordshire the chair is also a member of the Hertfordshire Armed Forces Covenant Board and would also be invited to attend the Reserve Forces meetings but neither specifically requires a military background.

In 2018, 2019, and 2020 the Hertfordshire SSAFA branch assisted with the Battle proms at Hatfield House, along with other fundraising efforts over the years.

Please feel free to call our Forcesline if you need any support.

0800 260 6767

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Monday to Friday.