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How we have made a difference


Read more about how, through your donations, we were able to help Jacqui Thompson and veterans Stan Hartill and Stuart Robinson.

Stan Hartill

Battle of Britain veteran Stan Hartill was 19 years old when he joined the RAF as an airframe fitter. Stan, joined 609 Squadron and was looking after Spitfires at Middle Wallop for one week when the Battle of Britain broke out.

We provided Stan with financial assistance after he found it difficult to pay the maintenance charge on his flat. Stan said: "I'd always wanted to stay in my own home but when the maintenance charge increased by 20 per cent, I couldn't stretch to it.

"I have a few health problems as well which makes travelling on public transport difficult and I rely on my daughter to drive me everywhere so I asked for a little help to run the car as well.

"To this day I really appreciate the help the RAF Benevolent Fund has given me – the calls on them must be tremendous and I’m such a small cog but I'll be indebted to them for the rest of my days.

"To enable me to stay in my own home with my daughter a few yards away from me, 24 hours a day – I'm a very lucky man. I can lead a normal life thanks to the RAF Benevolent Fund.

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Stuart Robinson

When Corporal Stuart Robinson was seriously injured in an IED explosion in Afghanistan in 2013, he knew the road to recovery would be a tough one.

Stuart, 31, was on a routine patrol near Camp Bastion with 15 Squadron, RAF Regiment, when his vehicle hit the IED – the force was so strong that he was thrown 30 feet from the vehicle and the explosion left him with life changing injuries including the loss of his lower left leg and severe damage to his right leg and arm.

While recovering in hospital he took the difficult decision to have his shattered right leg amputated.

A year on, Stuart underwent intense rehabilitation at Headley Court where he had access to a specially adapted mountain trike which not only provided mobility but assisted in his rehabilitation and physical recovery.

Seeing that the trike would improve his quality of life at home and allow him to play with his four-year-old son George, Stuart approached the RAF Benevolent Fund for assistance in buying the trike.

Stuart says: "I don't like asking for help but you can't do everything on your own. I was always quite active, playing rugby and football and the trike allows me to get out and also spend time with George outdoors. It's been really important for me to be able to do the things with him that I could before I was injured.

"The RAF Benevolent Fund have been there for my family through the hardest time. I was aware of their work but, of course, you never think you're going to need them – it's been reassuring knowing they are at the end of a phone whenever I have needed them."

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Jacqui Thompson

Jacqui Thompson's husband, Gary, was killed in Afghanistan while serving with the RAF Regiment.

"My husband Gary Thompson, a reservist with the RAF Regiment, was killed in Afghanistan in 2008 when his vehicle was hit by a landmine. I cannot put into words how much we love and miss him.

"We have five girls. They had a really close relationship with their Dad. He was the loveliest rogue, always teasing. His jokes were terrible though! It was his first time in Afghanistan. He would ring us and write to us – his letters are here beside me in the bedside cabinet.

"When he was killed, the RAF Benevolent Fund sent me a really nice letter saying how they could help, and a cheque to make sure we weren't in difficulty during the turmoil. I knew then that we wouldn’t face losing our home and I would be able to support our daughter, Jordan, through university.

"So in 2009, I decided to raise money for the RAFBF by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. It was way out of my comfort zone, but my driving force all the way through was Gary.

"I wanted more people to know that, if the worst happens, the RAFBF are ready to help in any way they can."

Donate £5 to help families like Jacqui's


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