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RAF College Cranwell reopens play parks following £80K refurbishment

RAF College Cranwell recently reopened three play parks following an £80,000 refurbishment, funded by the RAF Benevolent Fund, the RAF’s leading welfare charity.

The largest of the three parks – High Dyke Play Park – lacked equipment for older children, while West Avenue Play Park had little equipment for nursery-age children. The equipment at Lime Play Park was in good condition, the fence and flooring required replacing and repairing.

RAF College Cranwell childrenat Airplay play parksRAF College Cranwell children enjoying one of the refurbished play parks. Photo: RAF Benevolent Fund

Thanks to the grant from the RAF Benevolent Fund, the refurbishment project has improved the facilities for families based at RAF College Cranwell.

Group Captain Gordon Bettington, Station Commander at RAF College Cranwell, said: "Thank you to the RAF Benevolent Fund for transforming our play packs across the Station. Watching our children having so much fun on the new equipment has been a genuine joy in these difficult times."

The RAF Benevolent Fund provides financial, emotional, and practical assistance to serving and retired RAF personnel and their families. This includes grants to help with financial difficulty, free memberships for Headspace, Airplay youth clubs, and more.

Air Vice-Marshal Chris Elliot, Controller of the RAF Benevolent Fund, said: "Access to good quality play parks is key for young families based at RAF stations across the country, especially this year when we're all spending more time at home. This grant reflects the Fund's commitment to supporting young people through its Airplay and Ben Club programme, so I'm thrilled the Fund has helped improve facilities here at RAF College Cranwell."

The RAF Benevolent Fund has launched and expanded a number initiatives to help support members of the RAF Family throughout the coronavirus pandemic and beyond. Partners and spouses of RAF personnel can now get memberships for online mindfulness platform Headspace free of charge. Previously this service was available to serving personnel only.

The Fund has also introduced a 24-hour helpline for veterans and serving personnel, as well as their partners, who may be in need of emotional support. In addition to this an online mental wellbeing zone has been created on the Fund’s website where RAF veterans and personnel can access advice, support and find out where to go for more help.

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