Monday 17th June 2024

Sergeant Ken Ivory, stationed at RAF High Wycombe, has been awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) in His Majesty The King’s Birthday Honours 2024 for his service to the military community, specifically for his work with SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity.

Many undertake volunteering throughout their lives. However, Ken has selflessly volunteered time, energy, and passion for more than three decades.

Ken (55) was born in Nairobi, and though an aviator of some 29 years’ service, has his feet firmly on the ground in Buckinghamshire, where he calls home.

He joined SSAFA in March 1990 as a civilian in his first job after leaving school in Bicester.

Of his introduction to the charity – the UK’s oldest tri-service support organisation – Ken says:

I was asked by my manager if I was able to help the local SSAFA with the role of their divisional treasurer. I knew nothing about what SSAFA did, but I was keen to assist the branch in any way I could.”

In 1995, he joined the Royal Air Force and his volunteering with SSAFA not only continued, but also increased.

By 2002, Ken was branch treasurer looking after eight divisions of SSAFA’s Greater London Northwest area and he has remained in this post for the past 33 years. This is a critical role with a UK-wide impact as it allows the charity to function at a national level and involves detailed planning and organisation to ensure that the charity remains solvent and legally compliant.

Without his skill and dedication, the charity would not have been able to so efficiently and effectively assist the 60,000 people who use its services each year.

In the rest of his spare time, Ken also fundraises for SSAFA in marathons and ultra-marathons, saying:

I love distance running and have been lucky enough to compete in races up to 100 miles raising funds for SSAFA whenever possible, including in October last year running three marathons in three days for SSAFA, raising money and awareness for the charity.

I’ve always enjoyed my role within SSAFA and been proud to continue it even when I have deployed with the RAF and am honoured – and surprised! – to receive recognition for my voluntary service with SSAFA.”

Sgt Ken Ivory running

SSAFA relies on its network of volunteers and staff around the UK and oversees. To learn more about how to volunteer, fundraise for, and to access support, search for “SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity”.

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