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South England

Our regional office based at RAF Benson covers the whole of the South of England.

Get in touch with one of our team if you need any support with fundraising for the RAF Benevolent Fund. If you're interested in developing corporate partnerships, please contact Paul Hewson, our Regional Director.

Area Director South England: Neil Tomlin

Neil Tomlin

Wing Commander Neil Tomlin graduated Initial Officer Training at RAF College Cranwell in 1992. Following 5 years training as a fixed-wing pilot and rotary navigator, he re-branched to the Administrative (Secretarial) Branch, undertaking junior officer tours at RAF Cottesmore, Headquarters No 1 Group (Aide-de-Camp), operational secondment to the Royal Marines and British Army in Kosovo (Media Ops) and RAF Stations Honington and Benson (Infrastructure); he also undertook an industry placement with IBM.

Promoted to Squadron Leader in 2004, Neil was assigned to Head Quarters Air Command/RAF Brize Norton as the Requirement Manager in support of Project CATARA, the infrastructure project activated in response to the announcement of the closure of RAF Lyneham and expansion of RAF Brize Norton.

Deployed to Afghanistan as the Theatre Media Director in 2006, Neil directed all media activity across the 3 Services from bases including Kabul, Kandahar and Lashka ghar, (Helmand) before returning to RAF Brize Norton as the Officer Commanding Personel Management Squadron. During this period Neil also undertook to direct the weekly repatriation ceremonies of those fallen on operations.

A Staff appointment at Number 2 Gp, Head Quarters Air Command followed as the Personal Staff Officer to Air Marshals Sir Andrew Pulford and Sir Stephen Hillier. Promoted to Wing Commander in 2011, Neil remained at Air Command running the Strategy and Plans Cell overseeing the rebasing of Fast Jet activity in Scotland and the drawdown of RAF stations announced in the Strategic Defence Review.

Selected for Advanced Staff Training in 2012, Neil was assigned on graduation to Command Base Support Wing at RAF Marham where, in addition to his primary duties, he raised £325k of public and charity funding to significantly upgrade the welfare provision and infrastructure on the Unit resulting in a single point'Community Village' on the Base. Completing his Command tour in 2014, Neil returned to Head Quarters Air Command where he supervised the career management, assignment and promotions of Operational Support and Personnel Support Officers and corresponding ground trade personnel.

As a personnel and welfare specialist, Neil joined the RAF Benevolent Fund in December 2018 in order to focus his professional activity towards improving the welfare support to RAF personnel and their families and the veteran community. As the Area Director for the South of England, Neil is the regional 'face' of the RAF Benevolent Fund, supporting both welfare provision as well as Station and Corporate Fundraising activities, while also overseeing UK-wide activity delivered through his 2 Area Directors in the North East, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

When not supporting Benevolent Fund activities, Neil enjoys the ongoing challenge of renovating his cottage near Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire; taking part in classic car and motorsport events (he never misses the annual 'pilgrimage' to Le Mans) and cruising the river Thames in his recently restored 1949 Slipper Launch.

Contact information

  • Address: Building 167, RAF Benson, Wallingford, Oxfordshire, OX10 6AA
  • Telephone: 01491 837766 ext 6536 or 5299

Neil Tomlin, Area Director

Bryan Kettle, Regional Co-ordinator

Andy Cairns, RAF Subscriptions Manager

  • Telephone: 01993 896608
  • Mobile: 07920 475772
  • Email: andy.cairns@rafbf.org.uk

Charlotte Kay, RAF Subscriptions Administrator

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