Executive Leadership Team
Air Vice-Marshal Chris Elliot
After gaining her degree from Glasgow University, Chris joined the Royal Air Force (RAF) in 1985 as an Air Traffic Control Officer. She has served at many RAF airfields, including Brize Norton, Valley, Leeming and Marham. Following promotion to Squadron Leader and an appointment as the Senior Air Traffic Control Officer at Linton-on-Ouse, she moved to the Operational Requirements (Air) Directorate in the Ministry of Defence and then attended the Advanced Command and Staff Course (ACSC) in 2000.
Following promotion and a staff appointment supporting the Commander-in-Chief Personnel and Training Command/Air Member, she was appointed as Officer Commanding Operations Wing at RAF Northolt and then returned to the ACSC as Directing Staff. As a Group Captain she joined the Royal College of Defence Studies in 2010 prior to her appointment as the Commanding Officer at RAF Halton.
On promotion to Air Commodore, she left her role in Programmes and Plans at AIR Command and joined No 22 (Trg) Gp as the Director of Ground Training and Senior Air Staff Officer. She retired from regular service in June 2020 in the rank of Air Vice Marshal, her last role in being the Chief of Staff Personnel/Air Secretary.
She was a Trustee of the RAF Sports Federation for 8 years and left the Charity after handing over as Chair in February 2020. She joined the RAF Benevolent Fund in April 2020, taking over as CEO. Married to James, Chris has two teenage children and enjoys photography, running and dog walking and squeezing in her passion for skiing, motorbikes and cooking, around a busy family life.
To contact Chris, please email her EA Kirsty Jackson email@example.com.
Director of Welfare
Air Commodore Paul Hughesdon
Air Commodore Paul Hughesdon served in the RAF for 26 years. He provided personnel support to the RAF's frontline in the UK and overseas, culminating in command of RAF Uxbridge, before going on to lead Personnel Policy across the RAF, often on a tri-Service basis with the Royal Navy and Army.
Paul was the RAF's nominated trustee for many charities, including the RAF Association, the RAF Benevolent Fund, the RAF Central Fund and St Clement Danes. He attended the Royal College of Defence Studies in 2005.
Paul left the RAF in 2009 to join the RAF Benevolent Fund as the Director of Welfare and Policy (now Director of Welfare), since then he has overseen the expansion of the range and depth of the support that the Fund provides to all members of the RAF Family, whether serving or retired.
The provision of financial support remains an important part of the Fund's work, but under Paul's leadership and following appropriate research, the range of our grants and now services, the latter often delivered through partnerships, have grown considerably.
Where sensible, he has also overseen the integration of other charities into the RAF Benevolent Fund.
To contact Paul please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Director of Resources
Victoria has worked at the RAF Benevolent Fund since December 2013 and has held a number of roles before being appointed Director of Resources in January 2022.
Victoria has a BSc in Economics and is an accountant by profession. After training in practice, she started her career in the commercial sector, but the significant part of her extensive experience has been in non-profit organisations where she has held several roles leading and transforming Finance functions.
She leads the Fund’s Finance, IT and Facilities, HR, Governance and Data Protection teams. Her responsibilities include supporting the development of the Fund’s strategy, ensuring that long term financial sustainability is secured and that the infrastructure supporting welfare and income generating activities is efficient, effective, and fit for purpose.
Victoria is a Trustee and member of the Finance Committee of two other charities. To contact Victoria, please email email@example.com.
Director of Fundraising and Communications
Jason secured his first job in the third sector 25 years ago and, after a year, moved into the field of fundraising and communications as he thought it was the best way of using his particular skillset to advance the missions of the charities he worked for.
Initially, he cut his teeth working in Australia. Then in 2003, he returned to the UK, where he spent the next eight years working in the health and biomedical research sectors at Help the Aged and at a specialist hospital, St. Mark's, in Harrow.
At the end of 2011, Jason returned to Australia to spend time with his elderly parents. His major role there saw him returning to the clinical environment and working as the Director of Fundraising and Communications for Chris O'Brien Lifehouse, one of the only two dedicated cancer hospitals in Australia. Following a restructure, he returned to the UK at the end of 2017 and has worked in the UK since in the health and disability sectors.
To contact Jason please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Associate Director of Strategy and Impact
Alison joined the RAF Benevolent Fund as Head of General Welfare, having come from a background of advice work and grant-giving in the charity sector. Alison moved from that into setting up a new research and project management function, with a keen focus on developing the Fund’s services in response to needs identified. This included launching wellbeing services, including a new Listening & Counselling Service and social engagement initiatives.
Alison was appointed Associate Director Strategy and Impact in January 2022, having led a strategic review across the organisation the previous year resulting in a new five-year strategy for the Fund. Alison leads a new centralised function, drawing on data, evidence and insight to steer the organisation strategically and maximise the Fund’s impact. This includes a focus on developing and innovating so we remain relevant to the RAF Family and being fit and effective as an organisation.
Alison holds a Masters in Voluntary Sector Management from Bayes Business School where she is still involved and has held a number of Trustee and voluntary roles within the charity sector, including being an NHS Responder during the Covid pandemic. To contact Alison, please email email@example.com.