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Tackling dementia head on – charities mark 30 years of support

The RAF Benevolent Fund is delighted to announce it has awarded a grant of £20,000 to the Alzheimer's Society towards the cost of its support of the RAF family. The grant marks 30 years of support between the two organisations which has seen the RAF Benevolent Fund, the RAF's leading welfare charity, grant more than £735,000 to the Society.

An eldery lady

With an estimated 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK, and numbers set to rise to more than 1 million by 2025, the RAF Benevolent Fund has developed its welfare services to best support members suffering from dementia and their carers.

Paul Hughesdon, Director of Welfare and Policy at the RAF Benevolent Fund, said: "As the RAF’s leading welfare charity we are determined to provide as much relief as we can for RAF family members living with dementia, and to help hard pressed carers where we can.

"The RAF Benevolent Fund and Alzheimer's Society partnership is a fantastic example of two organisations working together to ensure our RAF veterans can enjoy a dignified and independent retirement."

The RAF Benevolent Fund offers a tailor-made support package for each individual. From care home top-up fees so they can be near family, to adaptations to their home or equipment to enable people living with dementia to remain independent for longer or make it easier for others to give support.

The charity also has a welfare centre on the South Coast which provides specialised facilities for RAF family members living with conditions like Alzheimer's and vascular dementia, and gives carers an affordable and much needed break by the sea.

It also provides a fantastic opportunity for all guests to chat with other members of the RAF family, to receive help and support, and advice and guidance and to go home with their batteries fully recharged!

The Fund's recently launched Advice and Advocacy Service helps veterans navigate the maze of welfare benefits and NHS and local council services, identifying the benefits and care services to which a veteran, his or her partner, and dependent family members are entitled. If necessary, the Service will take up the case directly on their behalf.

The Charity supported Margot Corbin's mother Jeanne when she needed extra help after she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. With social services only able to cover three and a half hours of paid care, there was a shortfall which Margot and her family had to fund. Margot’s father, Flight Lieutenant Jimmy Corbin, flew as a Spitfire pilot during the Second World War, taking part in the Battle of Britain.

Margot said: "The support the RAF Benevolent Fund has been able to give my mother since her illness has been incredible. As mum's Alzheimer's got progressively worse we just didn't have the money to provide 24-hour care at home but we weren't prepared to put her into a home.

"I absolutely had no expectations that the RAF Benevolent Fund would be able to help us, after all, my father was dead; it was his family who were in need of help. When they said they could help fund some of the extra care we needed it was a godsend – we were ecstatic! It's made such a difference to mum."

Jon Bodenham, Director of Fundraising at Alzheimer's Society, said: "Alzheimer’s Society is extremely grateful for this grant from the RAF Benevolent Fund, which marks the latest stage of an important partnership spanning 30 years.  

"The support between Alzheimer's Society and the RAF Benevolent Fund enables people who have served in the RAF and go on to develop dementia to access high quality support and care when they need it most."

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