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RAF Benevolent Fund - RAF fundraisers launch 66 mile Cairngorm charity challenge

Member Spotlight: Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund

Whether you’ve served in the RAF for a day, a year, a decade or more, the RAF Benevolent Fund is here to help get RAF veterans and serving personnel through the toughest times, providing practical, financial and emotional support when they need it most.

From the youngest child to the oldest veteran, the Fund is committed to helping every member of the RAF Family, providing a tailor-made, holistic approach to individual circumstances and will consider any request for help. In 2018, we spent over £21 million supporting more than 53,000 current and former members of the RAF and their families.

How we help serving personnel:

We understand the pressures our serving men and women and their families can feel under. Deployment, separation and frequent moves can all take their toll. As the RAF's leading welfare charity, we provide a range of support and advice for serving RAF personnel and their dependants. Whether the need be financial, emotional, or assistance with childcare and youth support, our welfare provision is there to alleviate the pressures.

We are unique in providing a range of support for serving RAF and their dependants, including youth clubs on all the main RAF Stations, funding to help with employment and welfare breaks. We also provide specialist assistance in the event of injury or death in service, and we work with Relate to provide access to relationship support services and financial grants to help with one-off unexpected costs. In 2018 we launched free membership to the mindfulness app Headspace for all serving personnel.

How we help the veteran community:

We support both young and older veterans and immediate family members with everything from injury or illness, to financial hardship, disability, emotional wellbeing, transitioning back to civilian life and living independently. We offer financial grants to aid day-to-day living, cover one-off unexpected costs for practical items like a new fridge or replace a broken boiler, right through to adapting homes to help people live independently. We can provide respite care, bereavement or relationship support or arrange weekly telephone groups to help those isolated or lonely.

Last year it spent £21M on welfare support for the RAF Family, including:

  • £1M on mobility aids
  • £439K on care home top-up fees
  • £457K on disability equipment
  • £2.6M providing respite and care services and wellbeing breaks
  • £500K supporting veterans living outside the United Kingdom

How can you help the Fund?

2019 marks the centenary of the RAF Benevolent Fund and at the end of June we launched a major campaign. The campaign encourages the public to get thousands of RAF veterans and their families ‘back on the radar’ and, if they need it, accessing support that is rightfully theirs. Research carried out by the Fund estimates that the RAF Family is made up of 1.4 million people who are either serving or who have served in the RAF and their spouses, partners or dependent children and three quarters are aged over 65.

The campaign aims to reach veterans like 92-year-old Ron Finch, a former RAF driver and beneficiary of the Fund, from Nottingham. Ron was conscripted into the RAF aged 18 in 1945, serving in India and Sri Lanka.

Support from the RAF Benevolent Fund has funded a stairlift and wet room, enabling Ron to continue living at home with his wife Pauline and to keep in touch with other veterans through its weekly Telephone Friendship Group service.

Ron said: “I saw it as my duty to serve in the RAF when I was called up and have happy memories from my time overseas. All these years later the support from the RAF Benevolent Fund has made everything a lot easier for me as I get older. The friendship groups in particular mean a lot to me, as we all get together and have a real natter, it’s brilliant.

“To others who have been part of the RAF, I’d say it’s definitely worth getting in touch with the Fund. The support I’ve had has been life-changing and it reminds you that you never leave the RAF Family. I know they’re always there if myself or my wife need them.”

To refer someone to the RAF Benevolent Fund, go to www.rafbf.org or call 0300 102 1919.

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Get in touch

Free call: 0800 169 2942 | Email: info@rafbf.org.uk | Website: rafbf.org

Social media channels

Twitter: @RAFBF | Instagram: RAFBF | Facebook: RAFBF | LinkedIn: RAF Benevolent Fund