Frequently Asked Questions
This section provides answers to our most frequently asked questions about The Salvation Army.

These questions and answers came from visitors like you. We hope you find them helpful and informative.

We would love to address any other questions or issues you may have. Please send us an e-mail and we’ll try to get you the answers you need.
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What does The Salvation Army do?

It is hard to list everything that The Salvation Army does since it is an international organisation and does everything from feeding starving children and families to support for emergency services, and more. In Ayr, we battle against poverty, addiction and homelessness. We seek to be a kind face to comfort the sick and elderly, a wise support to the education of all ages, and a giving resource to address need wherever it occurs. For more information about specific activities and programs offered, please see the Services section of our web site.

Are you a social services agency?

No, we are a group of committed Christians who are concerned to see that the gospel – the good news of Jesus Christ – reaches the needs of the whole person. The Army’s social work sprang out of such concern.

Is The Salvation Army really an army?

The Salvation Army is not a military army but rather a global group of people organised using military terms moved to by Christian faith to take humanitarian action.

Does The Salvation Army help only those of a certain religion?

The Salvation Army loves everyone without discrimination. We help people of all religions and beliefs without discrimination.

Does race or sexual orientation factor into the services you provide?

No. We strive to meet the needs of vulnerable groups and those overlooked or ignored in our communities. We make no distinction based on ethnicity or sexual orientation.

Does The Salvation Army help only senior citizens?

The Salvation Army helps people of all ages. Young people benefit from many of our services including kids clubs, which provide a safe environment for children and teens. Other beneficiaries of our services include drug and alcohol addicts, the homeless and the physically challenged.

Does The Salvation Army help only those who are
beyond rehabilitation?

The Army believes that everyone has the capacity to determine a solution for their problems. A great many of our programs are directed at helping people turn their lives around. Every year, The Salvation Army in the UK helps thousands of individuals find their way to a better life for themselves and their families.

Why should I contribute to The Salvation Army?

There are several answers to this question. First, The Salvation Army has demonstrated its ability to effectively identify and efficiently meet urgent human needs in South Ayrshire and throughout the world for over 140 years. When you give to us, you know that your money is going to those who need it most. Second, the people we serve have multiple needs. The wide range of our programmes means that we can deal with the whole person under the umbrella of a single agency. Third, our staff combines the expertise of professional training with the experience of working on a wide variety of social problems and emergency relief situations.

I can’t make a financial contribution right now.
How else can I help?

There are many ways to give to The Salvation Army and to those in need in your community. Donated items such as gift baskets for Christmas or toys and coats for kids make a big difference. Also, you can simply give time by volunteering to help with our services, fundraising campaigns and other activities. We are also grateful to accept as many offers from potential volunteers as we can.

How is my donation used?

The Salvation Army translates its faith into action by offering programmes and services to assist those in need in a variety of ways. Your gift can enable us to serve families who are hungry, shelter homeless families, help people overcome addictions, provide after-school tutoring and recreation, and send children to summer camp. If your concern is global, you can contribute to Salvation Army World Services, which provides such programs as clinics in Africa, homeless feeding services in Russia, enterprise development in the Philippines, and homes for orphaned and abandoned children in Mexico.

Can I have a monthly donation deducted as a direct debit?

The answer is yes! The Salvation Army offers you option to make a regular contribution to The Salvation Army each month without the hassle of mailing in cheques. Sign-up on-line using one of the "Click to Donate" buttons, and we’ll automatically debit your account each month. For other methods of giving please make an appointment to meet with one of our Lieutenants at the Church and we will take care of it.click-to-donate

How much of your money goes to administration?

The Salvation Army makes every effort to ensure that the maximum possible amount from donations reaches those in need. Approximately 92 pence of every pound we collect goes in direct assistance to the homeless, the mentally ill, the physically challenged, victims of drug and alcohol abuse, and others under our care.

What is the role of volunteers in The Salvation Army?

Volunteers give us valuable assistance in many ways. We have many thousands of volunteers across the country working in a variety of capacities and alongside our employees and officers to provide direct services to those in need.

My business has an interest in helping specific causes.
How can I ensure that our contribution will go to these causes?

Donations that are specified or designated for a certain programme or region are used to support that programme and/or region directly. If you wish to specify your gift, this should be clearly noted when you make your donation. Our online donations page, for example, gives you a special box to specify such information.

Is The Salvation Army only in the UK?

No. The Salvation Army actually began in London, but soon expanded to Europe, Australia, Asia, and The United States to name a few. The Salvation Army currently has offices and services in 125 countries and territories and shares the gospel and love of the Lord in over 175 languages. This web site is dedicated to South Ayrshire in Scotland which is part of the West Scotland Division of the UK and Northern Ireland Territory of The Salvation Army.

How does The Salvation Army ensure that its programmes
meet the same quality standards across your region?

The Salvation Army is involved in the continuous development and promotion of new and innovative strategies for service delivery. Social service centres across the country are engaged in an ongoing process of evaluation and improvement.

Is The Salvation Army making a difference in my community?

Because of the wide scope of the services we offer, The Salvation Army is uniquely positioned to think in terms of long term solutions to social problems. We certainly continue to meet the short term needs of individuals for food, shelter and clothing. Our long term care services provide a continuum of care based on the philosophy of “aging in place” wherever possible. It is very likely that there are people in your community that have been served by one or more of our many services. If you do not live in South Ayrshire and would like more information about The Salvation Army near you, please see our locations page.

Why do you still wear those uniforms?


Mainly because it gives us an “open door” to service and because the uniform tells everyone that the wearer is a Christian who will be glad to help them. Salvationists find that the uniform is not only distinctive, it is practical as well.

Why should I help people on the street when
they won’t help themselves?



In these tough times, we all know of people who have suffered losses through no fault of their own. When such an event happens, The Salvation Army is there to help. If social issues are left unattended, they affect society. Drug problems, for example, often lead to crime. Giving to The Salvation Army is an investment in prevention. Through our programmes, people are taught to behave responsibly and to assume control of their own lives.

How can I join or learn more about The Salvation Army?



We encourage you to contact your nearest Salvation Army office or headquarters if you are interested in joining or if you seek more information. Salvation Army locations in your area can be found at the
locations page of this web site. Thank you for helping us to help others.