RAF Brize Norton recently hosted a virtual magic show for personnel and their families. The online event, which cost £1,500 in total, was supported by a £750 grant from the RAF Benevolent Fund, the RAF's leading welfare charity.
Some 65 service households attended the two-hour virtual show which was performed by professional magicians. The show was aimed at the whole RAF community, for children, parents and single personnel alike.
One RAF spouse said: "The magic show was absolutely brilliant! The magicians were all amazing with the technology and got everyone involved while showing their mind-blowing skills. As the magic show was hosted via Zoom, we could attend without the need for babysitters or other issues that might have prevented us from making it. Thank you for putting a huge smile on all of our faces, and thanks also to the RAF Benevolent Fund for funding the show."
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. In 2019, the RAF Benevolent Fund spent nearly £200,000 supporting personnel and their families at Brize Norton.
Air Vice-Marshal Chris Elliot, Controller of the RAF Benevolent Fund, said: "Throughout the year, lockdown restrictions and distancing measures have limited social occasions across the country. Events like this are key to maintaining a sense of community at RAF stations, so I’m really pleased the Fund were able to help facilitate the virtual magic show for those based at RAF Brize Norton."
The RAF Benevolent Fund has launched a range of welfare initiatives to support personnel and their families through the Covid-19 pandemic. It introduced a 24-hour emotional support helpline, created an online mental wellbeing zone, and began offering Headspace memberships to RAF partners and spouses. The Fund has also offered a £2,500 grant to each RAF station to provide activity and wellbeing packs for RAF children and launched Airplay Connect, an online version of its youth support service.