RAF charity’s £34,000 grant means disabled veteran had Christmas in comfort

Ian Park outside 21.12.17_thumb

Ian and Susan Park outside their home which has been adapted to better meet Ian’s needs. Photo: RAF Benevolent Fund

Former RAF telecoms operator Ian Park says works to adapt  his home and ensure he can live on one floor have ‘changed his life’.

The RAF Benevolent Fund stepped in to meet the shortfall in local authority funding needed to adapt Ian’s home in Sudbury and enable him to continue living there with his wife and teenaged son.

Ian suffers from several different conditions including diabetic neuropathy of the feet and ankles, which leaves him in constant pain. The lack of depth perception in his feet cause numerous falls as he cannot feel any sensation from mid-thigh to feet. He also had a minor heart attack which has developed into unstable angina and chronic heart disease.

Added to this Ian endures constant back pain caused by two discs pressing on the spinal cord and was diagnosed with an enlarged spleen and chronic liver disease last month.

An occupational therapist from Babergh District Council identified a recommended scheme of works but the authority’s Disabled Facilities Grant of £30,000 only covered just under half of the £64,000 needed.

Ian said: “The change is immense. I do not have to struggle up and down the stairs. I do not have to exert myself and I do not have to worry.

“I have a riser recliner chair which means now rather than having to sit with my feet down I can lift them up off the floor. Even though I cannot feel my feet I can feel the nerves tingle inside and it can be quite painful.”

Thanks to the RAF Benevolent Fund 53-year-old Ian Park can now get around his house unaided and without the constant worry of falling.

Ian added: “I did not expect anything. At the end of the day the Fund did what all of their information says they would do and that is care and help. It was such a pleasure to know somebody was there to do their best for you just because you are part of the family, the RAF Family.”

Ian is unable to work due to his ill health but volunteers for four days a week with Citizens Advice. He says the work means he has been able to give something back as he feels he is too young to be thrown on the scrap heap, he can now relax while at work and engage more rather than being in constant pain.

Al Bennett, Head of Individual Grants at the RAF Benevolent Fund, said: “Helping veterans like Ian Park is exactly what the Fund is here to do. We have been able to assist Ian to live more independently at home, at a time when he needed it the most. His RAF service means the RAF Benevolent Fund will always be by his side, in times of need.

“The RAF Benevolent Fund spends more than £17million supporting the RAF Family, serving personnel, veterans and their families.”


For more information and high res images please contact: Rebekah Sharrock, PR Officer, RAF Benevolent Fund, E: rebekah.sharrock@rafbf.org.uk | T: 020 7307 3305 | M: 07595 657979.

RAF 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 2016 we spent £17.6m supporting more than 65,000 members of the RAF Family. For more information visit:  www.rafbf.org Twitter: https://twitter.com/RAFBF

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