Welfare

Support Groups

All too often the RAFA has been seen as a veterans association, but the truth is in reality very different .....

 

THE RAF Association (RAFA) provides help, assistance, comradeship and, where required welfare and care for the whole RAF family – from WWII veterans, through veterans of more recent conflicts such as The Falklands, Bosnia and the first Gulf War, to current serving personnel and their families, both in this country and deployed overseas in countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq.

 

With more than 75,000 members and around 500 Branches in the United Kingdom, throughout Europe and further afield, the Association offers a wide range of benefits to serving or former RAF personnel and their dependants.

 

As time progresses, the needs of the RAF family have changed and RAFA continues to expand its Welfare Services working closely with the RAF Community Support Team to develop initiatives and to help the serving community.

 

Recent developments include financial assistance and refurbishment of RAF Contact Houses, which are a vital welfare facility that can be used by estranged parents wishing to spend quality time with children in a suitable facility and to accommodate families during personal crisis.  The Association has helped more than 27 RAF Stations provide home comforts at the houses, including white goods, toys, beds and bedding and it has also funded the renovation of communal gardens.

 

Internet Cafes are also being developed at RAF stations and the RAF Association has so far assisted with new internet facilities at RAF Uxbridge, Honington and DMRC Headley Court.  This enables families to stay in touch more easily with loved ones who might be stationed abroad, in an environment where they can meet up and socialise with people in similar situations and the initiative has proved a resounding success.  As a result further cafes are scheduled to be opened over the coming months and even more initiatives have been planned including assistance with providing non-alcoholic facilities, the provision of youth facilities and help to integrate those leaving the Royal Air Force back into society. 

 

Our latest initiative is ‘Storybook Wings’ - serving personnel going ‘out of area’ can record a bedtime story for their children which is then professionally edited and sound effects, where appropriate added, before the completed CD is sent to the child.


Care & Welfare

Care and Welfare is a vital part of the role played by the Association, much of this delivered locally by a network of more than 600 Honorary Welfare Officers.  The Honorary Welfare Officers seek and identify current and past members of the RAF who need support and the help they give on their visits varies enormously. It can mean anything from conversation and comradeship, to preparing and submitting application forms for financial assistance.

 

It may be that for someone with long term needs, a respite break – either for them or their carer – is a vital part of their welfare requirements. The Association with financial assistance from the RAF Benevolent Fund, runs three respite care homes. These homes are Richard Peck House in Lytham St Annes, Lancashire; Flowerdown House in Weston-super-Mare; and Rothbury House in Rothbury, Northumberland.

 

RAFA also has a network of sheltered housing and warden assisted accommodation across the UK.

 

Something For Everyone

While the RAFA is delighted to provide quality care when needed, for any past and present members of the RAF and their dependants, many members are just looking for the comradeship and “esprit-de-corps” that the organisation has to offer.

Membership is not only available to people who have served, but to anyone with an interest in aviation and a huge benefit of membership is the comradeship that comes with it.

 

Membership of RAFA can also provide you with many quality deals, including special offers on cars, holidays travel and insurance.

 

An excellent opportunity to get in touch with old comrades is provided through RAF-Comrade-Contact, an RAF dedicated website enabling you to trace and contact former RAF colleagues, either by name, station, year or rank. The site will feature biographical details for all members as well as bulletin boards, chat rooms, forums and e-newsletters.

To find out more and sign up, visit www.raf-comrade-contact.co.uk