For Phil Hallam, 28, loss is something he has been struck with twice in his relatively short life. The passing of his mother and then later his brother was devastating, but when Phil received a letter along with a cheque from the RAF Benevolent Fund, it eased some of those initial financial pressures.
Phil was just 16-years-old when his mother passed away, leaving him and his younger brother Andrew behind. Shortly after, Andy decided to pursue his ambition of joining the RAF. Based at RAF Wittering, with No. 3 Squadron, Andy was thriving in his career when in 2014 he was involved in a road traffic collision. Andy was tragically killed.
Following Andy's death the Fund were able to ease the initial financial stresses by sending Phil a cheque.
Phil said: "When Andy died I didn't really know what to do. A few days later I received a cheque from the RAF Benevolent Fund and it really helped."
"When it came to Andy's funeral I wanted to give back to the Fund and so we asked for donations to be made to the RAF Benevolent Fund. It was my way of giving back."
Since then, No. 3 Squadron, alongside Phil, have organised a charity football match with proceeds being kindly donated to the charity. This year marks the third year of the memorial match and Phil explains what it means to him.
He says: "It's a great chance for us to all come together and keep in touch with the guys from Andy's Squadron. It's never going to seem real but holding the match each year is a positive way of honouring my brother and my Mum."
This year Phil arranged a raffle, auction, bouncy castle and a barbeque, raising a fantastic £1,914.17. To date, he has raised more than £10,000 for the RAF Benevolent Fund and the plans for 2017 are already underway!
Phil’s cousin, Frances, was also inspired to do her bit and set herself the challenge of completing two half marathons in two weeks, raising more than £400 for the Fund.
If you would like to support Phil, you can visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Phil-Hallam.