Key facts for editors

The RAF Benevolent Fund is the Royal Air Force’s leading welfare charity, providing financial, practical and emotional support to all members of the RAF family.

We were founded in 1919 by Lord Trenchard, one year after he founded the Royal Air Force. We are here to help serving and former members of the RAF as well as their partners and dependants, whenever they need us.

We spend around £20 million each year supporting the whole RAF family, from childhood through to old age. We helped over 60,000 people in 2010.

Supporting the serving RAF

As part of our commitment to maintaining the morale of the serving RAF we provide a range of services to support the men and women serving in the RAF as well as their partners and children. These include:

Last year we spent £5 million specifically supporting the serving RAF.

Airplay

Airplay is the RAF Benevolent Fund’s £24 million youth support programme for the Royal Air Force. We developed the project as part of our commitment to relieving strain on hard-pressed RAF families.

We’re funding Airplay Youth Workers (trained by national charity 4Children) on stations across the UK, to help RAF Community Support Teams deliver enhanced programmes of safe, supervised activities for young people living on and around RAF stations.

We’re also constructing new Airplay Parks (state-of-the-art games areas and play grounds) on RAF stations nation-wide, giving RAF young people access to the facilities they deserve. Finally, we’ve constructed Airplay Childcare Centres at 28 RAF stations, helping to deliver more affordable, accessible childcare.

Supporting those who have left the RAF

The RAF Benevolent Fund is also there for those that have left the RAF. We do this through:

  • House adaptations for disabled access
  • Mobility aids
  • Short-term respite care
  • Welfare breaks at Princess Marina House
  • Special donations to other charities

For more detailed information about the RAF Benevolent Fund, please see our annual review and report.