Case Studies

In this section, we provide some case studies which explain how we have been able to assist some former members of the ROC who have found themselves in need, hardship or distress. Remember - assistance is also available to dependants. And no matter how big or small your need, we are here to consider your request. We really do want to make a difference, so please do not be reticent to get in touch with us.


Fred Simmonds

Fred served in the Royal Observer Corps during the sixties at the height of the Cold War and the internationally sensitive years after the Cuban Missile Crisis.  The ROC was a highly trained and ready part of the nation’s defence and Fred was one of the thousands of volunteers who did their bit in those tense times.  Many years have passed and Fred is not as mobile as he once was.  He was in need of improvements to ease access from the house to the garden: a costly but necessary job and the ROCBF was there to help and pleased to be of assistance to make life easier for Fred and his wife Michelle.  Working together with SSAFA, we were able to make arrangements for the work to be done.  Fred and Michelle were delighted with the alterations, allowing Fred, one of the keenest of gardeners and shed dwellers, to potter and plant to his heart’s content.

Fred said: "I've been battling with some long-term health problems and I needed someone with me during the day, so Michelle my wife decided to leave her employment which meant we were not in a position to make the improvements to the garden. We were speaking to another ROC friend who suggested applying to ROCBF. During the process of applying for assistance, we were treated with dignity and respect. It was a painless and confidential experience which led to the ramp being built, giving me my independence back in my beloved garden. Thank you everyone."


Mark Barton

Mark is a former Observer and Territorial Army soldier. As a member of the ROC, he was based near Wye at Post 31 in an underground bunker at the end of the Cold War. He suffers from Charcot Marie Tooth Disease (CMT1A) which affects him in many ways from finger-locking, forearm pain/numbness to fatigue. More recently his ankle stability has worsened and both feet became deformed, with Club Foot and Hammer Toes making it difficult and painful to walk. He needed urgent corrective surgery and is unable to leave his house without the use of a frame or wheelchair. Working with SSAFA, we were able to fund and supply an electric riser/recliner chair to aid his recovery at home.

Mark said: "It is very humbling to know that other people care, that volunteers and charitable donations made to the Royal Observer Corps Benevolent Fund have helped me so long after we were ‘Stood Down’ but not forgotten.

"The chair is important to me and will help me recover from my recent operation to my right ankle, foot and toes which now have plates and pins in them, and during all my future operations. My wish is to be walking without a wheelchair or crutches within the next three years so that I can participate fully in adventurous training, kayaking and military skills within the Army Cadet Force where I am currently an adult Probationary Instructor."