As we proudly celebrated our centenary last year, we vowed to continue to support the RAF Family, whenever they needed us. Through our work with various RAF sports teams, we are acutely aware that sport can have an incredibly positive impact on the morale and wellbeing of individuals. Here, Group Captain Jamie Thompson of RAF Rugby Union explains how the Fund's support makes a massive difference to the team's wellbeing.
As the Director of Rugby for the RAF Men's Senior XV, I am extremely impressed by the support of our partners, and none more so than the RAF Benevolent Fund.
Sport is an essential element of being healthy and fit and is one of the cornerstones of Service life. It provides an outlet, which promotes teamwork, mental and physical fitness, and all-round wellbeing. These components bind our sport and help us excel in both our professional and personal lives.
As a former Unit Commander, I have also seen how the RAF Benevolent Fund directly supports our whole Service family, both serving and veterans. Life is not simple, and life in the military can often add extra pressures. I have relied upon the RAF Benevolent Fund to provide critical assistance on a number of occasions.
These have ranged from supporting a 17-year-old airman in Phase 2 Training who had come to us from a particularly troubled background, through to a most senior Warrant Officer who made the tough choice of seeking help when there appeared to be no other way forward.
Indeed, seeing the airman graduate into his Trade following help accessed through the Fund and hearing him remark that he had now joined a new family was a hugely rewarding moment. It was also a moment that reflects the often unseen work the RAF Benevolent Fund does to help us all.
As a team, we are enormously proud to represent both the Royal Air Force and the RAF Benevolent Fund. The Fund is the foundation upon which we build the team, providing our players and staff support when they need it.
Year on year they are with us every step of the way, both equipping us and helping us to promote the importance of a healthy lifestyle and the fantastic rewards that competitive sport provides. RAF Benevolent Fund, thank you.