RAF veterans with health conditions will be supported back into work throughout the challenges of the next 12 months, through further funding from the RAF Benevolent Fund.
The Fund has awarded £15,000 towards employment support from The Poppy Factory, which helps wounded, injured and sick veterans across England and Wales on their journey back to employment.
It will help secure a positive future for RAF veterans like Andy Jones, who experienced burn-out and mental health pressures during his military and civilian careers and was able to find a better work-life balance through one-to-one support.
“I was signed off from work as long-term sick in August 2019, then Covid-19 came along and hit the aviation industry really hard. I was offered voluntary redundancy in June.
“After being referred to The Poppy Factory I would talk to my adviser, Kirsty, over the phone regularly. Even though we never met in person, she really got to know me and she inspired a lot of confidence. With Kirsty’s support I felt I could deal with anything – to have that during lockdown was phenomenal.”
The charity has helped more than 150 ex-Forces men and women with health conditions move into work since the pandemic began.
Deirdre Mills, Chief Executive of The Poppy Factory, said:
“These are challenging times for many of the veterans we support. I am grateful to the RAF Benevolent Fund for standing by these men and women and awarding continued funding for employment support throughout the year ahead.”
Paul Hughesdon, Director of Welfare and Policy at the RAF Benevolent Fund, said:
“The Fund has been supporting the RAF Family for more than 100 years so we know only too well the challenges serving personnel face when they transition into civilian life. Working with organisations like the Poppy Factory ensures that RAF veterans can benefit from their expertise in supporting service leavers back into employment.s And we are very grateful to the Poppy Factory for their endeavours on our behalf.”
As the RAF’s leading welfare charity, the RAF Benevolent Fund has a proud tradition of looking after the RAF Family. It is there for all serving and former members of the RAF as well as their partners and dependent children.