Sandes: The Soldier’s Friend

Providing friendship and support for the military community as a witness and practical expression of the Christian faith.

Founded in 1869 Sandes serves the military community working with soldiers in centres located on military bases across the UK. These neutral, non-military spaces provide a home from home for soldiers and their families who can face incredible pressures and stressful working lives.

What we do

A home from home

Our Centres are designed to be sanctuaries where soldiers can find a welcoming space on camp, free from rank and the pressure of military duties.

Welfare and family support

Providing support for soldiers, new recruits who face incredible pressures as they serve their country. Sandes also looks after families of soldiers through play clubs, support sessions and toddler groups.

Christian witness

A permanent Christian presence in military bases distributing Scriptures, offering pastoral support, Bible study, prayer meetings, children’s Bible Clubs etc.

  • But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?

    Romans 10:14 (NLT)

Who we are

Our history

We’ve been supporting soldiers since 1869. Find out more about our founder,  Elise Sandes and read how our ministry has developed over the years.


No public funds

We are a charity and receive no public funding. There have been occasional grants from trusts for capital projects but we depend on supporters to provide the core funding essential in keeping the work going.


It is a challenging job requiring special commitment and we are grateful to our forty staff and volunteers who run the organisation and man our Centres around the UK.

Statement of faith

Sandes is a Christian mission. Read about our motivation and the values and principles that guide our work with the UK military.









Find a centre


Contact centre


Contact centre…


Contact centre…

Head Office

Contact details: Sandes Soldiers’ & Airmen’s Centres, Unit 7, 30 Island Street, Belfast BT4 1DH
Phone: 028905 00250


  • On taking over as Senior Chaplain at Pirbright I saw firsthand the enormous worth that Sandes has within the military. I was extremely impressed by the dedication of the staff in providing such an excellent service for the recruits. Many told me that without Sandes, they would not have gone the distance and passed their 12 week phase one course.

    Padre Roland Olliff, Former Senior Padre ATR Pirbright
  • I am writing as a recruit at ATC Pirbright, to express my gratitude for the excellent facility provided by the Sandes Centre here on camp. My fellow recruits and I have found it a wonderful haven of warmth and friendship in which to relax, purchase helpful items, and feel welcome, at a time when some of us have felt alone, or simply stressed out. The staff are universally polite, friendly and caring. They go out of their way to make us feel welcome and noticed, and by their presence reassure us that there is a friendly face, and someone to talk to should we need it.

    Recruit Amelia Hunt
  • Without Sandes I really don’t think I could of passed out. The superintendent listened in a quiet manner that calmed the most distressed of recruits. Sandes itself was a fantastic service. It was a place where recruits could go without feeling the pressure of ranks or eyes upon them. It was the single place on camp that I saw people completely relax.

    A young recruit from Pirbright

Latest news

Latest news and posts from the Sandes family

Remembering Wendy

A short article remembering Wendy Wilkins, who worked for Sandes in the late 1960s and 1970s, but sadly recently passed away.

For such a time as this

Learn how the face of Sandes has changed through the years, but the heart remains constant and unchanging.

Precious memories

Ex Fusilier David writes about his experiences at a Sandes home in the early 1980s.

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Sign up to get our regular magazine and hear what’s happening in Sandes centres across the UK.

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Do you feel you could help us in our mission to serve the young men and women of HM forces? There are many things you could do to help us both outside and inside the wire. Get in touch for more details.

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