As the RAF's leading welfare charity, the RAF Benevolent Fund prides itself in meeting the needs of RAF families, whether deployed on the front line or serving at home. The Fund is continually adapting to the changing needs of today's 35,000 serving personnel and their loved ones.
We recognise that family life in the RAF is not always easy. By providing a web of support around the 28 RAF stations across the country, we help to relieve the stresses on personnel and their families.
We support individuals, couples and families through a range of grant programmes and services on RAF stations such as relationship counselling, youth support, and families' days.
Supporting children and young people on Stations
The Airplay programme is the only project of its kind for Service families. Offering a range of fun activities for eight to 18 year-olds, Airplay helps them meet the unique challenges of living on stations:
From long periods separated from at least one parent; moving around the country to new stations, often in isolated, rural locations with minimal facilities; to having to start at new schools and make new friends on a regular basis.
Airplay provides children from Serving families continuity and a safe space in which to mix and bond with other children facing the same challenging environment. The youth workers and volunteers focus on helping and listening to the children and young people, ensuring they get the support they need.
There are now state-of-the-art play parks, multi-use games areas and childcare facilities on 23 RAF stations across the UK.
Introducing Ben Clubs
Ben Clubs extends the benefits of the Airplay programme to children from age 5, giving them a safe place to spend time with children from other RAF families.
Mum Becky is delighted about the project:
"I think Ben Clubs is a really good idea, in terms of their age group because there is definitely a need for something for the younger ones.
"It gives them a chance to get used to youth club before they join the older group too… my youngest has always wanted to go to the older group. She comes with me to drop off her older sister and she likes all the arts and crafts they do."
There are currently Ben Clubs on 18 RAF stations. A grant could help us to set up Ben Clubs on the remaining stations.
If you would like to support Ben Clubs, Airplay or Serving families in other ways, please contact the Trust team on firstname.lastname@example.org.