Benevolent Fund aims to double its reach to mark 100th anniversary
A military charity set up to help anyone with links to the RAF, has launched an ambitious goal to mark its centenary year.
The Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund – which assists veterans, serving personnel, their families, reservists and anyone who did National Service – hopes to almost double the number of people it helps from 53,000 to 100,000 over the next three years.
I have assisted a number of constituents, both serving and former RAF personnel, who did not know where to turn, and it is good to know that the Benevolent Fund is there to offer support.
Set up by Lord Trenchard in October 1919, a year after he helped to launch the world’s first independent air force, the RAF Benevolent Fund’s vision of making sure that no veteran faced hardship alone, is still going strong.
Last year the Fund spent £21 million supporting RAF Family across the UK and now hopes to extend its reach to those who may not realise they are entitled to assistance. Support services include financial grants, mental wellbeing and emotional support, care home top-up payments and respite services.
By working in partnership with other organisations including the Church of Scotland, Scottish Rugby and the University of the Highlands and Islands amongst others, the charity hopes to encourage more applications for support.
The Fund’s centenary project has also received the backing of North East Fife MP Stephen Gethins who said it is important that as many people as possible are made aware of the assistance available to them.
He said: “North East Fife has a long and proud association with the RAF with many families and veterans choosing to make this area their home. I know that many service personnel are reluctant to ask for help but it is important that they know they are eligible for it and it is also there for their families. I have assisted a number of constituents, both serving and former RAF personnel, who did not know where to turn, and it is good to know that the Benevolent Fund is there to offer support.”
The local MP added: “It was good to meet Gavin Davey, RAF Benevolent Fund Director for Scotland, Northern Ireland and North-East England, and hear more about how the charity hopes to reach people who are not on their radar but who would benefit significantly from their help. I have copies of the RAF Benevolent Fund Guide to Services in the constituency office and would be happy to hear from anyone who thinks they would benefit from assistance.”
The guide is also available at www.rafbf.org