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Useful links

Here are links to other key organisations that support or can provide information to members of the RAF family. 

Aircrew Association: Exists to foster comradeship amongst those who, having been awarded an official flying badge, have qualified to operate military aircraft and are serving, or have served, as military aircrew in the Armed Forces of those nations allied to the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.

Alexander Duckham Memorial Schools Trust: The Alexander Duckham Memorial Schools Trust aims to promote the education and welfare of children of members, and former members of the RAF who are in need of financial assistance

Armed Forces Memorial Appeal: The Appeal's task is to provide a National Monument of beauty, meaning and substance, to act as a lasting Memorial to the men and women of the United Kingdom Armed Forces who have lost their lives while on duty or as a result of terrorism since the Second World War.

Battle of Britain Historical Society: In the summer of 1940, 2,944 pilots took part in an historic battle against the German Luftwaffe that was to become the only battle ever to be fought entirely in the air, this battle was to become known as the 'Battle of Britain' and the pilots as 'The Few'.

BEWSA (British ex-Services Wheelchair Sports Association): BEWSA was formed in September 1987 after a small group of disabled ex-Service men and women were invited to fly to the United States of America to participate in the 'Paralysed Veterans of America (PVA) National Veterans Wheelchair Games'.

BLESMA (British Limbless Ex-Service Men's Association): Over two thousand surviving Ex-Service men and women have lost one or more limbs as a result of in World War II, Korea, Suez, Aden, The Falklands, The Gulf, Northern Ireland and in support of the United Nations. For them the fight still goes on; to hold their own in the battle of life with a handicap which must always be theirs. Additionally BLESMA continues to care for some 2000 widows.

Burma Star Association: The broad aims of the Association are to promote the comradeship experienced in the bitter fighting in the jungles of Burma, and also to set up a welfare organisation so that members and widows in need can be given poverty assistance in times of ill-health or other debilitating circumstances.

Blind Veterans UK: A national UK charity established in 1915 by Sir Arthur Pearson to provide essential training and rehabilitation to blind ex-Service men and women. From army cadets to Gulf, Falklands, and Second World War veterans, Blind Veterans UK will help anyone who has served in the forces and who is now blinded due to war, age, accident or illness.

Combat Stress: The Ex-Services Mental Welfare Society, also known as Combat Stress, is the only charity dedicated to giving care, comfort and reassurance, backed by skilled clinical support, to men and women of all ranks and all Services suffering from varying degrees of mental illness as a result of traumatic battle experiences.

Confederation of British Service & Ex-Service Organisations: COBSEO is established to represent, promote and further the interests of Service and ex-Service men and women of all ranks, and of their spouses and dependants by all practical, legal and proper means.

Defence Medical Welfare Services: DMWS works in partnership with the Ministry of Defence to provide practical and emotional support to military personnel and other entitled patients in hospital. Welfare Officers of the Defence Medical Welfare Service work with patients from all the Armed Forces, wherever they serve, including working within Field Hospitals during times of conflict.

Falklands Veterans Foundation: The Falklands Veterans Foundation (FVF) is the first UK based charity for Falklands Veterans and their Families and is committed to providing a network of support both financially and through support work for all Veterans and their Families.

Guinea Pig Club: The Guinea Pig Club was formed in 1941 to support aircrew who were undergoing reconstructive plastic surgery after receiving burn injuries, mostly as fighter pilots in the Battle of Britain. Pioneer plastic surgeon Archibald McIndoe worked at the Queen Victoria Hospital burns unit in East Grinstead, rehabilitating burns casualties at a time when the treatment of burns by surgery was in its infancy.

The term "Guinea Pig" reflected the experimental nature of the reconstructive work he carried out on the club's members and the new equipment designed to treat these injuries. The Guinea Pig Club was the direct result of his efforts to make life in the hospital easy for patients who had gone through at least ten surgical procedures and to begin to rebuild them psychologically in preparation for life outside the hospital. By the end of the war around 80% of the membership, which had then grown to 649, were from bomber crews. The Club still exists for the original burns patients who now number less than 75. Following the transfer of club funds, the RAF Benevolent Fund now handles all applications for financial assistance for 'Guinea Pigs'.

Gwennili Trust - Recreation, Adventure and Instruction at Sea for the Disabled: The objects of the Gwennili Trust are: the relief of the physically or mentally disabled – in particular ex-Servicemen and women – young persons and those in necessitous circumstances by the provision of nautical, recreational and educational facilities on specially chartered yachts, or any similar vessel and training facility.

Leonard Cheshire: The leading charity provider of services for disabled people in the UK, operating in 55 countries across the world.

MoneyForce: Is a programme designed to improve the financial capabilities of members of the Armed Forces. Covering all aspects of personal finance, the MoneyForce website and associated training programme encourages service personnel to get 'MoneyFit' by taking control of their own finances. 

Not Forgotten Association: There are thousands of disabled ex-servicemen and women in this country. They have been injured in conflicts from 1914 to the present day. Now most of them are elderly and often frail and although their essential needs may be provided for, The 'Not Forgotten' Association is able to give them some of the 'extras' which most of us take for granted, something to look forward to; something to make life worth living.

Poppy Scotland: Supporting the ex-Service community in Scotland.

Recruit for Spouses: Is an independent social enterprise that improves employment opportunities for the spouses of serving members of the British Armed Forces.

RAF Community Support: Information and communication to support the RAF community.

RAF Disabled Holiday Trust: Helps serving and ex-RAF personnel and their dependants with a severe disability to take holidays in the UK and abroad.

RAF Families Federation: The RAF Families Federation represents the views and concerns of RAF personnel and their family members on the issues that affect them as part of a RAF family.

RAF Widows' Association: Provides help and information to men and women who have lost their spouse or partner whilst serving in the RAF at the time of their death or who died within two years of leaving the RAF.

Royal Air Force Charitable Trust: The Royal Air Force Charitable Trust is an independent charity and has as its objectives the promotion of recruiting and efficiency in the Royal Air Force as well as supporting RAF charitable work.

Royal Air Forces Association: The RAF Association is a membership organisation of current and past members of the RAF and those with an interest in aviation. It supports serving and retired members of the RAF and their dependants, from WWII veterans to those involved in the Falklands, Bosnia and the Gulf. Comradeship is provided through its 500+ branches and its network of Honorary Welfare Officers provide advice and support to those in need. 

Royal British Legion: The RBL aims to safeguard the welfare, interests and memory of those who are serving or who have served in the Armed Forces. Currently, nearly 11 million people are eligible for our support and we receive around 300,000 calls for help every year.

Royal Observer Corps Benevolent Fund: The ROC was stood down in 1995 after 70 years serving the nation in war and peacetime, being awarded their ‘Royal’ prefix in recognition for work in support of the RAF in the Battle of Britain. The ROC also went on to provide valuable service through the Cold War. The Corps operated with a mainly volunteer force under RAF command; their Benevolent Fund still operates today, serving former members of the ROC in hardship, need or distress.

SSAFA Forces Help: The national charity helping serving and ex-Service men, women and their families, in need. The range of services SSAFA Forces Help provides include housing, financial aid and advice, friendship visits and professional health care and social work services.

Tourism For All: The UK Voice for Accessible Tourism.  We are a national charity dedicated to making tourism welcoming to all. A break or a holiday, or a simple day trip is important to our lives, giving us something to look forward to, time to enjoy our families, a chance for adventure, or perhaps some time to ourselves, to recover, and acquire memories of happy times. In the past, some of us have encountered barriers to our participation in tourism - disabled people, older people, carers of young people or disabled or older relatives - Tourism for All works to overcome these.

Veterans Scotland: Veterans Scotland's objective is to relieve suffering hardship and distress and to promote the relief of need and to promote education among men or women who have at any time served with any branch of the naval, military and air forces of the Crown or her allies.

Wheel Life: Don't just sit there! Join the Wheel Life Community.

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