VETERANS currently serving time in a Gwent prison have been given goody bags from an armed forces charity to help them keep occupied during the coronavirus outbreak after their activities were cancelled.

SSAFA, the Armed Forces Charity worked with SToMP (Supporting Transition of Military Personnel) and provided 25 goody bags to veteran inmates at HMP Usk.

The goody bags included tea, coffee and reading materials and a range of other items.

HMP Usk had to stop the veteran coffee mornings they held due to the coronavirus pandemic and this then denied the inmates their regular opportunity to meet Armed Forces agencies and were missing out on the interaction and relationships with their fellow veterans.

It also meant that the inmates were being locked up for the majority of the day due to the conditions.


SSAFA Gwent works with HMP Usk and HMP Prescoed and provide support to veteran inmates. Ron Palmer, who is branch treasurer, is trained to visit and support prisoners and he attends the prisons on a monthly basis to help provide support through the charity’s casework service. This support varies from getting white goods, support with debts and costs for attending courses following their release.

Gwent SSAFA chairman Alan Denman, said: “It is important to provide support to members of the Armed Forces community wherever they may be. The Covid-19 outbreak and lockdown has had a severe impact on the Armed Forces community, and we are here to help them in any way we can.

“The initiative by SToMP is an excellent example of the brilliant work done by local organisations to help support service personnel, veterans and their families in Gwent.”

If you would like to find out more about SSAFA Gwent, visit or call 01633 246 269.