Carers who are part of the RAF Family now have a dedicated support package aimed at those who care for loved ones, unpaid and may not realise the help is out there.
The package aims to provide respite, financial and practical support and includes the introduction of new welfare initiatives. Emotional support will be offered via the Fund’s Listening, Counselling and Wellbeing Service as well as membership of the Telephone Friendship Group, where callers chat once a week for companionship and support.
RAF veteran Johnny Ayling has already benefited from the RAF Benevolent Fund's support services. He said: "Caring for my wife Pat who has dementia, can be difficult, but the Respite at Home service has been a godsend. It gives me time on my own – to go shopping or to the pub for lunch – and I know Pat is being well cared for."
Carers can also benefit from specialist partners which the Fund works with to support beneficiaries. These include free counselling sessions with relationship support service Relate, support for depression and mental health through Anxiety UK and help with coming to terms with loss with Cruse Bereavement Care.
Alison Wyman, Head of Welfare Programmes and Development at the RAF Benevolent Fund, said: "Caring for a loved one can be tough, you may need someone to speak to, or help with your finances. The RAF Benevolent Fund stands ready to support any member of the RAF Family in need.
"We have a raft of options available to help, from offering advice and advocacy services to helping to pay for mobility equipment. Caring for a loved one shouldn't mean caring alone, the RAF Benevolent Fund is side by side with the RAF Family, every step of the way."