Beware of bogus SSAFA collectors

Please be aware that there are bogus collectors purporting to be from SSAFA, they are operating on a door to door basis in Kent.

  • SSAFA does not conduct door to door collections.
  • All SSAFA collections are conducted at organised events, never door to door.
  • All SSAFA volunteers carry photographic Identity Cards.

These bogus collectors are operating in the Dover and Folkstone area and there have been further reports of bogus caller activity from other areas of Kent.

In the event that these bogus operators call on you, this is the action you should take.

  • Politely decline to contribute whatever is requested.
  • If you feel afraid or threatened by a doorstep caller, phone 999. For non-urgent calls, phone Kent Police 101.
  • If someone knocks on your door claiming to work for SSAFA, report it to SSAFA directly on 01622 792363.

NEVER agree to work being done by or paying cash to someone you have just met on your doorstep.

Report it

If you have you fallen victim to a doorstep criminal? Report it to KCC.

For advice and to report issues to KCC Trading Standards contact the Citizens Advice consumer service

Give safely to SSAFA

You can give to SSAFA

  • online at
  • by telephone: 020 7463 9225
  • by post: send a cheque made payable to SSAFA toSSAFA
    The Armed Forces Charity
    4 Dunstan’s Hill
    London EC3R 8AD

SSAFA  16 July 2018

South Ashford charities bid for Community Fund grants

Two charities based in South Ashford are bidding for grants from the Aviva Community Fund. Both Homestart Ashford and Beaver Community Trust have submitted bids.

You increase the likelihood of these projects winning funding by registering and giving up to 10 votes for the projects you would like to receive funding – either share the votes between the two local charities or give all ten votes to either one of them.

The description of the bids and links to vote are given below: (more…)

Make sure donations go to genuine charities

Generous public should make sure donations go to genuine charities supporting the victims in Manchester

Charity Commission and partners issue advice on safer giving

The Charity Commission, together with organisations helping the victims, have issued advice on safer giving in the wake of the terrorist attack in Manchester. The action follows steps taken by the Virgin Giving website after the Westminster attack, to suspend payment to site users until they had verified that the money would go to those for who it was collected.

The Charity Commission is encouraging people wishing to support the victims of this week’s terrorist attack in Manchester to donate to a genuine charitable appeal.

It says that the great British public are always generous in their support for charities and this has already been reflected via the many giving sites set up to support the victims and families of the appalling attacks in Manchester.

The Charity Commission, Greater Manchester Police, the British Red Cross, and the Lord Mayor of Manchester are urging people wishing to help to give to the We love Manchester appeal, launched by the Lord Mayor of Manchester’s Charitable Appeal Trust or to other registered charities. (more…)

Care for others

Caring for others is often an important part of keeping up relationships with people close to you. It can even bring you closer together.

Why not share your skills more widely by volunteering for a local charity? Helping out can make us feel needed and valued and that boosts our self-esteem.

It also helps us see the world from another angle. That can help to put our own problems in perspective.

Find out more about volunteering at

Caring for a pet can improve your wellbeing too. The bond between you and your pet can be as strong as between people. Looking after a pet can bring structure to your day and act as a link to other people. Lots of people make friends by chatting to fellow dog walkers.

Mental Health Foundation


More information

Ashford Volunteer Centre provides local volunteering opportunities and volunteer training

Mental health help and support services

If you’re experiencing mental health problems or need urgent support, there are lots of places you can go to for help.

Bed sharing

Safer Sleep WeekSome parents choose to bed-share with their babies. This means that their baby shares the same adult bed for most of the night, and not just to be comforted or fed. It is important for you to know that there are some circumstances in which this can be very dangerous.

Bed sharing increases the chance of SIDS and is particularly dangerous if:

  • Either you or your partner smokes (even if you do not smoke in the bedroom)
  • Either you or your partner has drunk alcohol or taken drugs (including medications that may make you drowsy)

Similarly, bed sharing with a baby of low birth weight (2.5kg or 51/2lbs or less) or a premature baby (37 weeks or less) is strongly linked to an increased risk of SIDS.

You should never sleep together with your baby if any of the above points apply to you, or even if you just feel very tired. You must be especially careful when giving feeds that you are not in a position where you could both fall asleep in the bed, an armchair or on the sofa together.

Parents may still choose to bed-share with their baby. If this is your choice, it is important that you are informed about how to minimise the risks. It is important to note that a high proportion of infants who die as a result of SIDS are found with their head covered by loose bedding. Ensure there are no pillows, sheets, blankets or any other items in the bed with you that could obstruct your baby’s breathing or cause them to overheat.

Never sleep on a sofa or in an armchair with your baby

This is one of the most high risk situations for your baby. Studies have found that sharing a sofa or armchair with a baby whilst you both sleep is associated with an extremely high risk of SIDS. One study found that approximately one-sixth of infants in England and Wales who died of SIDS were found sleeping with an adult on a sofa.

Make sure that you do not accidentally fall asleep with your baby on a sofa. If you think you might fall asleep, put the baby down in a safe place to sleep. If you are breastfeeding, have your partner stay up with you, breastfeed in a different position where you are confident you might not fall asleep, or feed the baby somewhere else.


The Lullaby Trust, ‘Safer Sleep for babies: a Guide for Parents’,

Pilgrims Ashford Christmas tree collections

Raffles the bear is looking forward to helping with Pilgrims Ashford Christmas Tree Collections again this year!

Raffles the bear is looking forward to helping with Pilgrims Ashford Christmas Tree Collections again this year!

Ashford Borough Council residents can recycle their real trees again this year with Pilgrims Hospices ‘Tree Recycling’ Christmas tree collections.

Just register your details and, in return for a chosen donation to the hospice, we will visit your home in the new year to pick up your tree.

Give to charity; get rid of your Christmas tree

Every £20 raised by the hospice scheme could cover the cost of 1 hour’s care from a Pilgrims nurse – on the ward, in patients’ own homes or in the community.

Christmas tree collections: dates

Doorstep collections take place across the Ashford Borough on Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 January 2017.

Contact Pilgrims Hospice Ashford for more information on 01233 504111 or click here to register online. (more…)

ITL recognised for charity support

KM Partnership AwardsSouth Ashford based firm, International Technologies, was one of fifty organisations honoured at the inaugural KM Charity Team Partnership Awards staged last week. The winners received accolades for playing a key role in helping the KM Charity Team deliver its range of services for schools and good causes.

Representatives from businesses that had supported the charity’s work past and present received a KM Charity Team Partnership Award trophy and framed certificate.

The Kent and Medway Charity Team was founded in 2001. At the start the organisation was called the Kent and Medway Walking Bus Group. It changed its name and logo in 2009 to reflect a broader range of services delivered. The charity works alongside the KM Group, Kent’s biggest multi-media publisher, to support the organisation’s charitable work whenever the objectives of the two organisations are shared.

Beware clothing collection bags

Skyecycle bag labelSkyecycle Limited have been distributing clothing collection bags in some parts of Ashford,  advertising the National Hereditary Breast Cancer Helpline (NBCH). It could easily be assumed that NBCH receive a donation from Skyecycle as a result of clothing donated, but there is no indication on these bags to indicate that this is the case.

If you wish to donate clothes to charity we recommend that you donate them through a Charity Shop. Our local Charity Shop is YMCA in Brookfield Court. There are also a number of Charity Shops in Ashford Town Centre.