Hundreds of RAF personnel serving away from their families over the Christmas period are being helped by RAF charities to celebrate together and combat loneliness.
Both the RAF Benevolent Fund and the Royal Air Forces Association are organising festive extras at UK RAF stations to help combat social isolation. All serving RAF personnel on active duty in the UK on Christmas Day will receive treats paid for by the charities, including 'enhanced' Christmas lunches, plus a choice of entertainment vouchers.
Rory O'Connor, Director of Welfare and Policy for the RAF Association, said: "We are working with the RAF Benevolent Fund and RAF stations to encourage service personnel on operational duty in the UK this Christmas to share together in the festive spirit.
"While people across the country will be relaxing at home with loved ones, hundreds of men and women will still be working at RAF stations, helping to keep us all safe, and it is important they don’t feel alone and isolated at this time of year."
Air Commodore Paul Hughesdon, Director of Welfare and Policy at the RAF Benevolent Fund, said: “For most people, the festive season is a chance to take a break and spend time with their nearest and dearest. However, there are many RAF personnel who will not have the chance to do so, as they will be helping to protect the country and our interests, and many will be far from their loved ones on Christmas Day.
"To recognise this and to say thank you, we are very happy to be working alongside the RAF Association to ensure these servicemen and women are able to join in with the festive celebrations, to the extent that their duties allow and regardless of where they are. Thank you and best wishes for 2020!"