In 2019, the RAF Benevolent Fund pledged to provide annual support over three years towards SSAFA's Forcesline and Norton House services. In 2020 this took the form of a grant of £25,275 across these two services, enabling staff and volunteers to continue to make a true difference, especially during such challenging times.
Forcesline is a free and confidential telephone helpline, email service and webchat that provides support for serving (regulars and reserves), veterans and their families.
Bill Grant, Forcesline Manager at SSAFA, said: "This year two grant from the RAF Benevolent Fund has allowed us to reach even more members of the RAF family in their greatest time of need. Whether they'’re facing emotional, financial or physical issues, we are on hand to support them and point them in the right direction."
SSAFA's Forcesline team have supported a case involving an RAF veteran, who was facing the very real possibility of becoming homeless, which would have left him and his 26-year-old disabled daughter in a desperately challenging situation. The family reached out to SSAFA's Forcesline team and were signposted to specialist assistance and support to ensure they remained safe, with a roof over their heads. Forcesline is also available to spouses and family members of the RAF family in times of need.
The RAF Benevolent Fund's grant also supports SSAFA’s Norton House, located in Leicestershire. The house provides free, safe and supportive accommodation to family members whose loved ones are receiving treatment for injuries at the nearby Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre.
Michelle Arthur, Housing Manager at Norton House, said: "One of our regular families to the house stay here in order to support their daughter, who is an inspirational young lady serving in the RAF. She suffered an accident that resulted in a brain injury almost three years ago.
"The existence of SSAFA's Norton House means that the patient is able to spend precious time with her family who are able to stay close by, without having to worry. They've been able to spend Christmas together here too, which is really special for the family."