Hundreds of RAF personnel serving away from their families over the Christmas period are being helped by military charities to celebrate together to combat loneliness.
The Royal Air Forces Association and the RAF Benevolent Fund, two charities that support the wellbeing of RAF veterans, serving personnel and their dependants, are organising festive extras at UK RAF stations to help combat social isolation.
All serving RAF personnel on active duty in the UK on Christmas Day will receive treats paid for by the charities, including ‘enhanced’ Christmas lunches, plus a choice of entertainment vouchers.
Rory O’Connor, Director of Welfare and Policy for the RAF Association, said:
“We are working with the RAF Benevolent Fund and RAF stations to encourage service personnel on operational duty in the UK this Christmas to share together in the festive spirit.
“While people across the country will be relaxing at home with loved ones, hundreds of men and women will still be working at RAF stations, helping to keep us all safe, and it is important they don’t feel alone and isolated at this time of year.”
Air Commodore Paul Hughesdon, Director of Welfare and Policy at the RAF Benevolent Fund, said:
“For most people, the festive season is a chance to take a break and spend time with their nearest and dearest. However, there are many RAF personnel who will not have the chance to do so, as they will be helping to protect the country and our interests, and many will be far from their loved ones on Christmas Day.
“To recognise this and to say thank you, we are very happy to be working alongside the RAF Association to ensure these servicemen and women are able to join in with the festive celebrations, to the extent that their duties allow and regardless of where they are.”
For more information about the RAF Association please visit: www.rafa.org.uk
For more information about the RAF Benevolent Fund, please visit: www.rafbf.org.uk
Media contact: RAF Association Alex Scoppie, 0116 268 8755 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Royal Air Forces Association
The Royal Air Forces Association (or RAF Association) is a membership organisation and registered charity that provides welfare support to the RAF family.
The Association recognises that RAF personnel and their immediate families dedicate their lives to their country, and we believe that such a sacrifice should not result in suffering, poverty or loneliness.
Whether it’s an injured airman or woman fighting to get back on their feet, a young child missing their parent away on overseas operations, or a World War II veteran needing a shoulder to lean on, we are here to help all generations of RAF personnel and their families. We also support serving families if they need us. We give practical, emotional and financial support.
Our membership of 74,000 includes serving RAF personnel, veterans and members of the public who want to show their support for the work that we do.
Across the UK in 2017 the Association carried out more than 115,000 welfare contacts, calls and visits, helped tell thousands of bedtime stories to children whose parents were away on operations, and gave tailored holidays to 2,500 RAF veterans, widows and family at our Wings Breaks hotels.
Our support ranges from simply providing conversation and friendship to preparing and submitting application forms for financial assistance.
Charity numbers: 226686 (England and Wales), SCO37673 (Scotland).
About the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund
The Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund is the RAF’s leading welfare charity. We exist to support current and former members of the RAF, their partners and dependants, whenever they need us. In 2018 we spent £21M supporting more than 53,000 members of the RAF Family.
For more information, visit www.rafbf.org.uk