Bertie is a bear who loves travelling. He has unlimited access to adventures and reports back on his experiences in this blog, aiming to help “break the ice” in developing friendship and companionship through the RAF Association friends and family ‘Befriending Service’. Bertie the Bear’s blog reaches out to everyone but especially to those who are lonely or isolated.
Recent research has found that isolation and loneliness are particularly acute within the ex-military community, with one in six individuals reporting relationship/isolation issues.
Tackling loneliness is a key part of the RAF Association’s mission for the 21st century. Research indicates at least 170,000 RAF veterans could be living alone, or experiencing isolation issues and according to the Campaign to End Loneliness, it’s a bigger threat to life than obesity and more dangerous to health than smoking. The lonely are more likely to need medication, suffer from depression or dementia and end up in residential care.
Befriending pairs volunteers with veterans or members of their family who suffer from loneliness and isolation.