RAF Benevolent Fund supports veterans through COVID-19 crisis and beyond

RAF Benevolent Fund supports veterans through COVID-19 crisis and beyond.

The welfare of RAF veterans and personnel has been and will continue to be at the forefront of all of the Fund’s work. 

The Fund has adjusted its working practices to ensure it is ready and able to assist those members of the RAF Family who need additional support. Indeed, in the first two months of the lockdown, the Fund awarded more than £2.6M in grants to RAF veterans, serving personnel and their families. 

Additionally, the Fund has created a COVID-19 Resources and Information page on its website to signpost the different services available to members of the RAF Family throughout the coronavirus pandemic and beyond. For more information, please visit rafbf.org/covid19.

The RAF Benevolent Fund is keen to ensure the most vulnerable RAF veterans, serving personnel and dependants are able to access the very best level of support we can provide in these challenging times. 

In order to continue supporting the RAF veterans and their families throughout the pandemic and beyond, the Fund has expanded a number of its welfare services.

Financial support
The Fund has launched an online application form that allows RAF veterans and their partners access financial support more easily. 

The new application process gives beneficiaries the opportunity to apply directly to the charity for financial assistance up to £750. Requests of this size accounted for 24% of all applications received by the Fund in 2019, equating to more than £400,000 of support for veterans and their families last year alone.

Larger financial grants are available for members of the RAF Family including working-age RAF veterans who may be out of work due to the crisis. The Fund will continue to work with caseworking organisations to ensure that the application process is as effective as possible, despite many of their volunteers being affected by social distancing guidelines.

Veterans can seek advice through the Fund’s Benefits Advice and Advocacy service. The Advocacy service is also able to assist people with understanding and challenging social care and CHC (continuing healthcare) decisions. 

Social isolation
The RAF Benevolent Fund has introduced a weekly Check and Chat service and expanded its successful Telephone Friendship Groups service to allow more veterans to join a weekly call.  For more information about both services, please visit rafbf.org/friendship

The Fund’s Community Engagement Workers are continuing their great work with vulnerable beneficiaries, but now over the phone, and its Social Engagement Workers have flexed their role and are working hard with their local station to better support the socially isolated on and off station.

Mental wellbeing
The Fund provides a Listening and Counselling Service, which has been expanded to provide 24-hour support. This service is available to veterans and serving personnel, as well as their partners, who may be in need of emotional support.  

We have an online mental wellbeing zone on our website where RAF veterans and personnel can find advice, support and find out where to go for more help. 

The RAF Benevolent Fund is the RAF’s leading welfare charity, providing financial, emotional and practical assistance to serving and retired RAF personnel and their families. This includes grants to help with financial difficulty, specialist advice on benefits, support with care needs, and more.

For more information about the support available to RAF veterans and their dependants, please visit rafbf.org/veterans or call 0300 102 1919. 

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