Supporters of the RAF Benevolent Fund heard first-hand how their contributions will enable the Fund to fulfil its ambitious centenary campaign, at an event at the Churchill War Rooms in London, recently.
Director of Fundraising and Communications John Trampleasure revealed the Fund’s aim to double its impact by increasing the number of beneficiaries helped from 53,000 to more than 100,000 by 2021. The audience was composed of Trust and Livery Company representatives, many of whom have been generous supporters of the Fund.
Geraldine Kay, Senior Trust Fundraiser, said: "The RAF Benevolent Fund’s centenary presents an opportunity for the Fund not only to raise awareness of the work we do across the RAF Family with others' kind support, but crucially to involve both existing and new Trusts and Livery Companies in repaying the debt we all owe, particularly to the Second World War and National Service RAF generations, through the Fund’s centenary appeal.
"Without the generosity and goodwill of our supporters we would not be able to undertake our campaign, as we stand side by side with the RAF Family in this pivotal time."
RAF Benevolent Fund Ambassadors Rob Bugden and Bob Grieg shared their experiences with the audience, setting out how the Fund had provided each of them with a lifeline when life took an unexpected turn. They were later joined by Second World War veteran and RAF Benevolent Fund beneficiary the Rev George Wood. George, interviewed by his granddaughter Rachel Kramer who works at the Fund, enthralled the listening supporters with tales of being shot down over enemy territory, surviving a dash across an active minefield and seeking out the French Resistance to get him home.
Air Commodore Paul Hughesdon, Director of Welfare and Policy, added: "George's story was fascinating, but the truth is that his selfless and brave service all those years ago was not unusual, and we now are proud to be given the opportunity to support him. A small financial grant makes the biggest difference to him, allowing him to live in a place he feels safe, secure and where his needs are catered for.
"The RAF Benevolent Fund is there for all RAF veterans, whenever and whatever their service, be it one day or 100 days, whether they consider their service to be remarkable or not. The Fund exists to help repay the debt we all owe to those who answered their country’s call, and also to support their immediate family and surviving spouses."
So, the Fund is asking for financial support for their plans; it also wants all those who read this, to search out those who have served, and their surviving spouses, and see if and how we can help them.
To find out how your Trust or Livery Company can support the RAF Benevolent Fund in its centenary year, contact us on 020 7307 3341 or firstname.lastname@example.org.