From WWII veterans to those serving on the frontline today, the RAF Benevolent Fund has been supporting RAF personnel and their families since 1919.
The money you raise from your Great British Sunday Lunch will help RAF veterans to live out their final years in dignity. It will protect retired personnel and their spouses when serious illness or disability throws them into hardship. It will help injured serving personnel, being medically discharged, to find somewhere to live for their families, adapt it for their needs, and retrain, for life after service.
Sergeant Stan Hartill was 19 years old when he joined the RAF as an airframe fitter. Stan, joined 609 Squadron and was looking after Spitfires at Middle Wallop for one week when the Battle of Britain broke out. Recently Stan, now 94, was supported by the RAF Benevolent Fund after he found it difficult to pay the maintenance charge on his flat.
Stan said: "I'd always wanted to stay in my own home but when the maintenance charge increased by 20 per cent, I couldn't stretch to it.
"I have a few health problems as well which makes travelling on public transport difficult and I rely on my daughter to drive me everywhere so I asked for a little help to run the car as well.
"To this day I really appreciate the help the RAF Benevolent Fund has given me – the calls on them must be tremendous and I’m such a small cog but I’ll be indebted to them for the rest of my days.
"To enable me to stay in my own home with my daughter a few yards away from me, 24 hours a day – I'm a very lucky man. I can lead a normal life thanks to the RAF Benevolent Fund."
Stuart, 32, was on a routine patrol near Camp Bastion with 15 Squadron, RAF Regiment, when his vehicle hit an IED – the force was so strong that he was thrown 30 feet from the vehicle and the explosion left him with life changing injuries including the loss of his lower left leg and severe damage to his right leg and arm.
While recovering in hospital he took the difficult decision to have his shattered right leg amputated.
With incredible support from his wife Amy, and four-year-old son George, Stuart has overcome his disability and is looking to the future.
Stuart says: "I don't like asking for help but you can't do everything on your own.
"The RAF Benevolent Fund have been there for my family through the hardest time.
"I was aware of their work but, of course, you never think you're going to need them – it's been reassuring knowing they are at the end of a phone whenever I have needed them."