RAF Benevolent Fund Support for Serving Personnel and Veterans

 

 

The recent virus has brought into sharp focus that more of the RAF Family may need the Benevolent Fund’s help as the effects of lockdown, Furlough and, possibly, redundancy have an impact on peoples’ lives, finances and health.

 

The Fund has changed many of its support services during the last few months to adapt to potential beneficiary’s needs and has streamlined its application process so accessing funding is easier.

 

Examples of its revised support are:

 

  • Increased number of Crisis or Temporary Financial Assistance Grants available for the RAF Family including working-age  RAF veterans who may be out of work due to the crisis.  This is in addition to on-going support for older veterans.

 

       

  • Introduced a new online application form to make applying for immediate financial help quicker and easier.

 

  • Weekly ‘Check and Chat’ calls for the veterans’ community.

 

  • Facilitating letters from children of RAF personnel to encourage isolated veterans during this time.

 

  • Taking referrals from the public to direct support for isolated veterans.

 

  • Expanded Telephone Friendship Groups for more veterans to join.

 

  • Expanded Listening and Counselling Service, including the addition of a 24-hour emotional support helpline.  This has been expanded wef 15th June to include children from 11 to 18 years.

 

  • Free access to the mindfulness app Headspace to provide preventative mental health support.

 

  • Access to an online wellbeing zone for the RAF Family.

 

  • A Legal/Employment Advice Helpline for those facing challenges in this area from May 2020.

 

These are just a few examples and there is a comprehensive list of other support that is available in the attached ‘Guide to our Services’ booklet and on the Fund’s website – www.rafbf.org.uk

 

Sadly, the impact of the pandemic has led to the Board of Trustees making the reluctant and difficult decision to permanently close our care and respite centre at Princess Marina House in July. Supporting older RAF veterans and their partners in Sussex and beyond remains our priority and we are working hard to develop alternative ways to help them.