Celebrating Diversity in our Armed Forces Family

SSAFA is dedicated to representing all people from all walks of life within the Armed Forces community.

Celebrating Diversity in our Armed Forces Family

SSAFA is dedicated to representing all people from all walks of life within the Armed Forces community.


A great deal has changed for the better in the British Armed Forces since I joined the Army in the early 1980s. Whilst there will always be more to do, the progress across the Armed Forces to make them more inclusive and to value all people for the skills they bring to the organisation is to be greatly celebrated.


- Lt Gen Sir Andrew Gregory, CEO of SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity


In 2020, SSAFA launched the Celebrating Diversity in Our Armed Forces Family campaign. A long-term campaign that endeavours to celebrate, commemorate, honour, and champion the contributions made by members of the British Armed Forces, across all the services, of all ranks, regiments, roles, nationalities, gender, sexual orientation, age, race, religion and disability.

2020 was a year of significant milestones in the diversity and inclusion journey of our Armed Forces. In January 2020, we marked 20 years since the lifting of the ban prohibiting people expressing same sex attraction from serving in the military. The lifting of the ban ended decades of prosecution and started a cultural change towards a more inclusive Armed Forces. Whilst in August 2020, we commemorated 75 years since VJ Day, reflecting on the contributions and sacrifices made by one of the most diverse fighting forces in military history. The 14th Army that fought for Britain in the Far East held in its ranks people from all across the Commonwealth, with 40 languages spoken and all the world’s major religions represented amongst the soldiers.

SSAFA, as the oldest tri-service charity in the UK, has a long history of supporting our diverse Armed Forces. Be it the SSAFA volunteers deployed to Burma, India and other parts of the Far East during the Second World War providing health care in the communities as well as welfare support to the British and Commonwealth soldiers and their families. Or our modern-day services to help Gurkha veterans. Our support through The Forces Additional Needs and Disability Forum for Forces families coping with the additional challenges of having a loved one with a disability, additional need, or health concern. Or our Armed Forces Adoption Services which has long champion equality and diversity, having more same-sex relationship adopters than the national average.

In 2020 we also launched Celebrating Diversity, we also created the SSAFA Military History Collection, an oral and written history testimony project that aims to gather and curate the stories of our beneficiaries, volunteers, employees and supporters. The project seeks to help inform and engage people with moments in our collective history, through a variety of resources including history timeline films, interviews, long-reads, and exhibitions.

In October 2021, the SSAFA Military History Collection and Celebrating Diversity came together to create a series of resources to mark Black History Month, celebrating the contributions of our Black service personnel throughout history - you can read more about this here.

 

SSAFA Services - Diversity in Action