Client: SSAFA

SSAFA secures a major contract win to provide support services to the RAF with support from The Bid Team. This market testing exercise was the first in the UK for SSAFA to undertake.


SSAFA is the UK’s oldest national Armed Forces charity, they share their history with the men and women of the UK’s Armed Forces. When the Second Expeditionary Force set sail for Egypt in February 1885, Major (later Colonel Sir) James Gildea wrote a letter to The Times appealing for money and volunteers to help the military families left behind at home. A fund was set up to provide allowances. Within three months, the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Families Association was born with Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales (the future Queen Alexandra) becoming the first president. Following the founding of the Royal Air Force in 1918, Queen Alexandra suggested the organisation should change its name to the Soldiers’, Sailors’ & Airmen’s Families Association (SSAFA). More people than ever before are now supported, with over 77,000 people per year accessing SSAFA services. These services included complex welfare and domestic issues, overseas health and social care, support groups, mentoring and stepping stone homes for women and children.

In 2015 the RAF announced that they were market testing the provision of the services provided by SSAFA to serving and retired staff and volunteers. This meant an open competition in 2016, where SSAFA would have to compete against private providers. SSAFA management, being predominately from the services or healthcare providers, had no experience of these procurement exercises. They therefore engaged The Bid Team to undertake the whole bid management, bid writing and bid presentation. The bid was an extensive document covering all the services that the RAF would require. The RAF service offering was a new way of working and hence the bid reflected a fresh modern SSAFA with graphics to match. The bid was a success and SSAFA retained the service provision for the RAF.

Bidding Services

SSAFA management engaged The Bid Team to undertake the complete bid. Our team managed, wrote and produce the complete graphic suite for this bid. The services we provided include:

Bid management of the whole process including liaising with SSAFA management and operational staff for drafts and reviews. The pricing model development and presentation of the cost and resource profile for the bid.

Bid writing of the 500 page technical response and 50 page commercial response. Our team of writers worked with SSAFA operational staff to ensure each answer addressed the win themes and evaluation criteria.

Graphic design of the submission documents to reflect a new fresh image of SSAFA and the new way of working with the RAF that they were proposing.

Print and production management of the submission. The proposals had to be submitted in multiple copies and multiple formats. Our team worked with our printers to ensure the documents were printed and that the electronic versions matched the high impact of the printed one.

Bid Functions Provided

For SSAFA we provide the full range of bid service from strategic bid direction to drive the key themes of the bid; bid management to ensure deliverables are met; bid writing and bid graphics to turn technical content in to bid copy; and reviewing the submission mid-bid to ensure that the bid strategy was being implemented.

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