Sir James Gildea Award to recognise SSAFA Fife Volunteers

04 August 2021

SSAFA Fife Branch Volunteers, Jim Laughlin and Peter Grant, have been awarded the local Sir James Gildea Award by SSAFA for 7 years voluntary service to the charity.

SSAFA’s Sir James Gildea Awards were created to recognise volunteers and employees for their exceptional contribution and commitment to SSAFA’s activities and values.

The two gentleman, Jim Laughlin and Peter Grant, are veterans giving back to their local Armed Forces community.

Jim always wanted to be in the Army. In 1967, Jim left school and joined Infantry Junior Leaders Battalion at Oswestery.

Jim Laughlin, SSAFA Fife Branch Secretary, said: “I went on to serve in the UK, eight tours in NI during Op Banner/Motorman, two tours in BAOR, Norway, Gulf Region during Op Granby, Falklands during Op Corporate, Belize, Canada, Gibraltar, Ascension Island. After returning from the first Gulf war, I decided, after a lot of thought, to retire to civvy street after a total of 25 years.

“Throughout my time out of uniform I never really left the Army, it was always in my head so, when I was offered the opportunity to join SSAFA as a volunteer caseworker I grabbed it with both hands.

“I have found volunteering at SSAFA to be the most rewarding thing I’ve done. Giving back to the Armed Forces community helps me maintain my link with the life that took me from a schoolboy and made me into the person I am now. I am very proud of my service and also the veterans I speak to daily. It is an honour for me to give up my time for this very worthy organisation.

“As a result of the introduction of the Scottish Support Office I have taken on the role of Branch Secretary for the Fife Branch and look forward continuing to provide a service to the Armed Forces community in Fife.”

Peter served for 26 years, initially serving with 4/7 Dragoon Guards before transferring to the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC). Peter undertook tours in Germany, Hong Kong, Australia and UK and managed the IT Department at The Defence Medical Equipment Depot. He was commission in 1990 and retired in 1996.

Peter Grant, SSAFA Fife Caseworker said: “I get a lot of job satisfaction from undertaking the role, I like helping those who are in need of help and supporting them; I have a realisation that everyone is not as lucky as I am.

“I wish to raise and assist veterans who I feel are forgotten and not given the support they so rightly deserve.”

George Givens, SSAFA Fife Branch Chariman, said: “We are extremely lucky to have Peter and Jim at SSAFA Fife supporting our local Armed Forces community. Presenting the Sir James Gildea award to them and recognising their service has been an honour. Thank you for your continued support.”

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