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Little Lani's Great British Sunday Lunch!

For Olivia and Lee Gosney, of Dorset, the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund is a charity that's very close to their heart. That's why the couple are planning to join thousands of others who will take part in the Fund's national fundraiser event by hosting a Great British Sunday Lunch this Sunday. 

SAC Lee Gosney joined the RAF in 1983, serving for four years in the flight simulation branch. Now Lee enjoys a quieter life, in Gillingham, with his wife, Olivia and their five-year-old daughter, Lani, who has Down syndrome as well as a rare heart condition. Lee also has three children from a previous relationship, Grace, Paige and Louis who is also serving in the RAF.

In 2014, the Fund first stepped in to support the couple with adaptations to their garden so little Lani could play in the garden and enjoy the benefits of outdoor stimulation.

Lani Gosney

Later that year, the Fund assisted once again by building a sensory room for Lani, which helps develop speech, language, concentration and hearing. As Lani suffers from sensory processing disorder the specialist room enhances learning and stimulates the various senses.  

Now Lani has started school her needs are changing, but the family say the space is growing with her too.

Olivia says: "Lani has now started school full time, so things are changing for us as a family. She's now doing homework and drawing more, all of which she can do in the sensory room. As her needs change, the room does too. It's a really flexible space.

"The room has given us the ability to give her the stimulation that she would normally only get in a specialist environment at home, which we never would have been able to do without the financial support from the RAF Benevolent Fund.

"The adaptations to the garden have given myself and Lee peace of mind that she is safe playing in our garden and the sensory room has given Lani a space that she can call her own, that is fun but also incorporates learning.

"The Fund has provided a safe place for our daughter, which in turn has eased some of the stresses on us as a couple. It's made a huge difference to us all and we cannot thank the RAF Benevolent Fund enough for everything they have done for our family.

"The whole application process was really easy and all the staff were extremely friendly and compassionate. I would strongly encourage others to approach the RAF Benevolent Fund should they find themselves in need.

"Because of the fantastic support we've had from the Fund, we wanted to do something to say thank you and that's why we are really excited to be involved with the Great British Sunday Lunch."

To find out more about the RAF Benevolent Fund's Great British Sunday Lunch: www.rafbf.org/gbsl.

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