Be Part of the Heart of the RAF family

For over 100 years, those who serve in the Royal Air Force have been ready to protect us and those we cherish. But who will protect them and their families, in their hour of need?

The RAF Benevolent Fund has been supporting members of our RAF Family through thick and thin providing practical, emotional, and financial support whenever they need us. As an independent charity, the RAF Benevolent Fund receive no regular government funding so rely entirely on the generosity of our supporters to continue our work. One of the biggest ways that makes a lasting difference are gifts left in Wills. 

Gifts in Wills, or Legacy Giving, supports over half of all the work the Fund does to support the RAF Family. These generous gifts mean that we can help people like Stephen. 

I don’t know how I’d have coped without the Fund.” 

RAF Veteran Stephen Pratley is a former Air Steward at RAF Brize Norton. However, in 1993 he was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy: a genetic disease that weakens muscle and makes him tired, for which there is no cure. Stephen desperately wanted to carry on, but after 18 years of service, he was medically discharged. 

He was told that he would be in a wheelchair in just a couple of years. With a mortgage to pay and two young children and his wife to support, the future was worrying and uncertain, until Stephen got in contact with the RAF Benevolent Fund. 

With our help, Stephen was able to apply for housing support and bought him a specially adapted house, and a wheelchair when he could no longer walk. We even levelled out our garden and removed the steps. Anything he needed, the Fund was there. It was a huge relief for him and his family.

I would say to anyone thinking of donating to the Fund or leaving a legacy – please do so – they are a sincere, generous and caring organisation.” 

Charlie Rose and sister Georgina were left in shock when they found their mother, Davina, collapsed on the floor and in need of paramedic care in summer 2021: she was found to have sepsis due to a severe kidney infection. It was touch and go for 24 hours. Following an RAF Benevolent Fund post on social media, Charlie contacted the Fund, to see if there were any chance her late father’s RAF service would entitle her mother to some help.

Despite there being over 70 years since her father served in the RAF, her mother Davina, is still eligible for support from the Fund. Davina’s husband Caleb Griffiths joined the RAF during the Second World War in 1941. Eager to become a pilot, Caleb enthusiastically pursued his career as an RAF Flight Lieutenant and flew various aircraft during the war including the Mosquito and the Walrus.

Caleb passed away in December 2006. Davina has lived alone since then although her daughters and grandsons live close by. Following her illness, Davina has since been supported by the RAF Benevolent Fund with a fuel grant of £530 to help with energy costs, and a bespoke riser recliner chair. We pride ourselves on being there for the RAF Family, whenever they need us, and you can be there for them too.

Future need 
None of this support for Stephen, Davina, and others, would be possible without the kind gifts left in Wills. These gifts help the Fund do so much of its amazing work and if you decide to leave a gift in your Will, you’ll be at the heart of the RAF Family for years to come. For people of all ages, those who are serving now, have served, or will serve in the future: whatever someone in the RAF Family needs, the Fund is there. 

In 2022, we have seen an 11% increase in the numbers of people we were able to help from 2021 and our requests for listening and counselling services alone have increased by 52% compared to the previous year.  This means the Fund is pooling more resources into providing support for the RAF Family in these unprecedented times. Whatever the future need, leaving a gift in your Will to the RAF Benevolent Fund ensures that we will be there to help everyone, no matter what. You can make that happen.

Peace of mind
Writing your Will is so important and having provided for your loved ones, please do consider leaving a gift to the RAF Benevolent Fund. Your support is vital to our work and if you are proud to be part of the RAF Family, this is an easy way to make sure you are part of the heart long into the future. 

Every gift is valuable to us, no matter the size or the reason why you choose to leave it. Be it a close personal connection or simply a deep admiration – for how the RAF has defended freedoms for all our families, for generation upon generation. In the Battle of Britain. In today’s uncertain world and long into the future. Your kindness will mean we will always think of you as family and remember the selfless way you chose to look out for the futures of our brave RAF people and those dear to them.

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