A DUNFERMLINE volunteer has been recognised for her dedication and commitment to a charity providing support for serving personnel, veterans and their families in their time of need.

Penny Leggat has been a volunteer for the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA) for 10 years, and after fulfilling many roles and being a wonderful ambassador for the charity, she has received the Regional Recognition Award.

This new award is aimed at recognising the extra endeavour of those, like Penny, who have gone above and beyond for SSAFA.

She said: "On my final move into my own home here in Scotland, I became a SSAFA volunteer so I could keep my connection to the Armed Forces community and continue to support them and work with a great team, both locally and regionally."

Penny served as a nursing officer in the Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps (QARANC) in Germany and the UK, and spent two years with the Australian Defence Forces.

She also served with 32 Field Hospital during Op Granby, the codename given to the UK’s involvement in the liberation of Kuwait in the Gulf War, and went on to work as a community midwife upon leaving QARANC.

She is now an active and passionate supporter of SSAFA, and has recently taken on the role of digital marketing volunteer.

She said: "I've been going on about SSAFA at every opportunity, but I think the award was specifically because I picked up the Social Media and the Digital Marketing angle to get our message out.

"We're now getting picked up by different branches across Scotland, and we're finding out that in our central office, more people are looking to us now and we're getting more hits on our websites."

Penny's work has been focused on increasing recruitment and publicity for SSAFA. The charity has seen a drop in volunteers since COVID, and it's because of her efforts to reverse this that her colleagues nominated her for this prize.

She said: “I’m honoured and very privileged to become a recipient of this new Regional Recognition Award for undertaking a new challenge and direction supported by the SSAFA team to raise awareness of the UK’s oldest tri-service charity, both locally and across Scotland.

"I actually put forward some names of people who I thought were deserving of the regional award in Scotland so I was really chuffed when I got it. I feel really privileged."

The award itself is in the form of an engraved plaque, which Penny's husband has displayed on their wall with pride.

Graham Meacher, SSAFA’s Scotland regional chair, said: “This new Regional Recognition Award acknowledges those who have added significant value specifically to the Scottish region, their branches, SSAFA in general, and most importantly, to the beneficiaries/clients that they have helped, directly or indirectly.

“The work they carry out and subsequent improvement to lives of veterans, serving personnel, and their families is immeasurable, life changing, and, in some cases, life saving.

“Generally managing large caseloads, working under pressure, and assisting – with compassion and humour – individuals, often experiencing the most trying of circumstances, the recipients of the Regional Recognition Award embody all that is good about SSAFA.”

If you are a member of the Armed Forces community and you need help, support or advice from SSAFA, call the Forces line on 0800 260 6767 or their Scottish Support Office on 0141 488 8552.