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The Nicholson brothers

Adrian Nicholson's dad was killed in a Hercules crash in 2005. The RAF Benevolent Fund was there for Adrian and his brother in their time of need to make sure they didn't lose their home and could continue their education. Adrian tells his story.

Nicholson brothers

"Dad was in the RAF for as long as I've been alive. He was fun, kind, liked the camaraderie and was good at his job. The first time I remember him being away was in the Falklands, then Bosnia.

"My parents split up a long time ago and Dad looked after my brother Stuart and me alone. He changed jobs in the RAF to be there for us - you know what growing boys are like! We were all close. He only went back to flying when Stuart reached 16 and I could look after the house.

"We didn't worry. All your life you're told how safe the Hercules is. Dad used to joke, 'You don't have to worry unless my boss and best mate turn up on the doorstep.' Then one day, in 2005, they did, to tell us there had been a crash. It hit us so hard.

"Then we found out Dad's life insurance had expired, so there was no money and a mortgage to pay.

"The RAF Benevolent Fund were very good. They quickly gave us £5,000 for food and bills, and then a low-interest loan to pay off the mortgage. We don't have to start paying it back until we're both working. Without that help, we'd have lost the home Dad made for us.

"If it hadn't been for the Benevolent Fund, I don't know how we'd have coped."

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