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RAF's leading welfare charity extends support for veterans' mental health

The RAF Benevolent Fund has recently awarded a grant of £250,000 to Combat Stress in recognition of the vital work it does to help veterans with mental health problems. This brings the total awarded to Combat Stress to £2.1 million since 2014.

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Last year, with support from the RAF Benevolent Fund, Combat Stress helped 236 former RAF servicemen and women. In addition to the £250,000 recently awarded, the Fund also provides funding to support treatment of RAF veterans on an individual basis, which this year is expected to reach a further £250,000, bringing the total funding this year to £500,000.

Sue Freeth, Chief Executive of Combat Stress, said: "We're immensely grateful to the RAF Benevolent Fund for their very generous donation. In the last decade we've seen a 97% increase in referrals from former servicemen and women struggling with their mental health. Military-related trauma is a very serious issue that left untreated can have a devastating impact on those affected and their loved ones.

"The grant from the RAF Benevolent Fund will enable us to continue providing life-changing treatment so RAF veterans can overcome their trauma and lead fulfilling lives."

Air Commodore Paul Hughesdon, RAF Benevolent Fund Director of Welfare and Policy, said: "As a charity at the heart of the RAF Family, the Fund knows only too well the toll serving their country can take on the mental health of RAF veterans.

"Recognising this need, the Fund has a long-standing relationship of support to Combat Stress, ensuring RAF veterans who need mental health care are well supported.

"This additional funding has been agreed to support Combat Stress as it goes through a period of transition, modernising the organisation and preparing it to support Armed Forces veterans for generations to come."

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