Become a member this festive period
A lonely Christmas is a reality for many in the RAF family. But it doesn’t have to be. Your membership matters.
Current and former RAF personnel
If you are serving or have served in the RAF, Reserves, Royal Observer Corps or one of the Commonwealth Air Forces, or if you are over 18 and were in the Air Cadet Organisation you can join us as an Ordinary member.
£23 per year
Become a member of the RAF Association and you’ll join a huge community of like-minded and passionate people. Our Ordinary and Associate members are the heart of the Association; when you join us you’ll play a vital role helping us to provide friendship and support to the RAF family.
Your membership matters and makes a real difference. With your help we can reach out to more veterans, serving personnel and their family.
Why should you join?
When you join us you’ll be in brilliant company. Our community is full of interesting, keen and likeminded members inspired to do their bit to help the RAF family.
The heart of the Association
Our members are at the heart of the Association. Their shared experience and love of the RAF is the driving force behind everything we do. Your membership fee allows us to reach out to members of the RAF family who really need our help and support.
A community of friends
We have 400 branches worldwide and 74,000 likeminded members. As soon as you join you’ll be in good company and you’ll soon find yourself forming friendships.
Wear your membership with pride
We want to thank you for your dedication so we’ve created a marvellous members’ package which contains:
- Exclusive quarterly members’ magazine ‘Air Mail’. Fantastic human interest stories and regular contributions help members maintain bonds with the RAF and with each other.
- Your very own members’ pin badge shows the eagle and globe, topped with the Queen’s crown. Wear your badge with pride.
- Access RAF Association branches and clubs with your annual membership card. With over 400 branches worldwide, you will never be far away from another member of the RAF family.
- Members’ rewards with exclusive special offers on great brands. Discover your world of benefits online.
Samantha Brownlee | Ordinary member | Serving | 5 years a member
“Flying Officer Samantha Brownlee was born in Warrington on 27 June 1987. At the age of 4, her family moved to live in Stanley, Falkland Islands. At 17, she moved back to the UK in order to attend college in Winchester, studying Human Biology, Psychology and Sports Science. In 2006 she went onto study BSc Psychology at the University of Warwick. At University she was a member of the ladies rugby team, as well as the Birmingham University Air Squadron. Following her studies, she returned to the Falkland Islands and joined the Falkland Islands Defence Force in an infantry reservist role, while also employed as a Graduate Trainee for the Falkland Islands Government.
Yearning for military employment in a full-time capacity, she left the Falklands in 2012 to live in the UK and begin RAF applications. She attested on 26 Feb 2014 and went into the Intelligence Analyst trade. Her first posting following training was at the RAF Brize Norton Station Intelligence Cell. She was fortunate enough to be offered a 6 month Falklands deployment from Aug 15 – Feb 16, acting as political analyst during the Argentine Elections. In 2016 she joined the RAF Luge team and competed in the Inter-services competition in Norway in 2017. Following commissioning application in 2016, she began IOT on 28 May 17 and graduated on 14 Dec 17. She attended Phase 2 training at the Defence School for Policing & Guarding in Southwick Park from May – Oct 18. She was then posted back to RAF Honington as a first tourist Provost Officer in the Force Intelligence cell within the Force Protection Force Headquarters. In this position she ‘duel hatted’ as SO3 A2 and OC Force Intelligence Management Cell which deals with threat analysis to the Force Protection Force as well as crime pattern analysis within the RAF.
Why she joined the RAF:
After experiencing a taste of the military in a reservist role, she yearned to dedicate a full-time career within the military. With a strong family connection to the military, she had full encouragement from her family to chase this dream.
Why joined RAFA / How long been a RAFA member:
She joined RAFA in 2014 while she attended phase 1 training at RAF Halton. She joined as she knew she wanted to contribute to a military charity, and the brief provided by RAFA at Halton was inspirational.
Why remained a member:
After learning more about how RAFA helps people, she felt proud to be a member of such a fantastic organisation and to be associated with it. She aspired that after she completed her officer and specialisation training to become more involved with RAFA. In Feb 2019 she became OIC of the RAF Honington branch.
What it is about the association that you’re passionate about
Leaving the military can be daunting and many people feel they no longer have the stability they were used to during service. RAFA provides the support and cohesion to those in need, even if it’s simply a social group of like-minded people.
What has the Association given back to you
Because her family live in the Falkland Islands, she has utilised the Welfare houses, that RAFA fund and maintain, on many occasions at RAF Brize Norton and RAF Honington. This allowed her family or friends to visit her while they were in the UK. Having this facility available to people like her provides a huge support to families who live apart. Thank you RAFA!”
Graham Malster | Ordinary member | Retired |10 years a member
“After 25 years in the RAF as an Avionics Technician I finally pulled the plug in 2001 and left for a new beginning in civvie street determined to put into practice the huge learning and personal development I had gained in the RAF to good use in this brave new world. I didn’t need all that RAF stuff anymore, that was the past or so I thought, until several years later when I wandered, by chance, into the RAFA Club in Cleethorpes.
I found it amazing how the cameradere, language and ethos were instantly there as I spoke to people I had never met. i realised how much I had missed this world and more importantly how it was ingrained in me. We bonded instantly and the tales flowed and this grew as my relationship with the branch grew over time.
I now consider myself extremely fortunate to have so many wonderful friends and a great social life enabled by my membership of our Association. I’ve been member now for over 10 years and am proud to have become more involved. I am now Chairman of the Club in Cleethorpes i so fortunately drifted into 10 years ago, I am lucky to have a great team working alongside me, all volunteers, who have created a great social venue where all our members can have a fun time. I cannot imagine not being a member, the more members I meet the more I like it. I’m always bumping into former colleagues or just people with interesting stories or just good people to be around. I think that’s it for me I enjoy being with people who are good people to be around.”
Abbi Flynn | Junior member | Cadet
“My name is Abbi Flynn and I’m a Cadet Sergeant from 739 (Scarborough) Air Cadets. I initially joined the ATC after watching my brother get some amazing chances through the organisation, and upon turning 12, jumped at the chance. I’m most passionate about the inclusivity of the RAFA, from helping friends and family of serving personnel to retired veterans of the RAF; giving opportunities to such a diverse group of people, the lack of discrimination and accepting nature of the RAFA has helped me achieve in ways I never thought possible. The Royal Air Force Association has given me many opportunities, starting with representing them at numerous events by carrying their standard, and most recently completing a 12 hour flying scholarship. I can’t thank the RAFA enough for all they have given back to me.”
Dean Gibson | Ordinary member | Serving |20 years a member
“Born in Yorkshire in 1967, Sqn Ldr Dean Gibson, more commonly known as ‘Gibbo’, joined the RAF in Aug 1986. A member of the Air Operations Branch, Gibbo is married to Ali, a HWO and volunteer for RAFA, they have one son, Ben, who is also in the RAF and recently graduated from RAF Engineering Officer training. Unsurprisingly, they are both members, with Ben having been one of the initial members of RAFA Youth.
Gibbo joined the Association in 1999, when a colleague, Flt Lt Paddy O’Hanlon, asked him to take over as the RAF Boulmer RAF Association Liaison Officer (RAFALO). After musing for a few seconds, he agreed to give it a go for a year, and all he can say is, 20 yrs later, ‘it has been a long and brilliant year’. Over those 20 years, he has carried out many roles and enjoyed them all; meeting, volunteering, befriending and fundraising alongside lots of wonderful people, and it is this camaraderie, across the generations, that keeps him interested and committed. Since a chance conversation with the then CO of RAF Bentley Priory, Sep 2004, he has been an active member of the Harrow and District RAFA Branch and Club, turning his hands to most tasks and is currently the Branch President.
During his time as a member, there have been a lot of changes within the Association, which he believes have made it more agile to meet the changing needs of the RAF Family. Gibbo attends numerous ceremonies throughout the year, and it is the remembrance of fallen comrades and meeting the welfare needs of the RAF Family that drives him on. During his time in the Association, he has always had a least one role or duty connected with it, and it is undertaking of these roles that have given him so much pleasure, especially his role in selecting those ‘air minded’ youngsters’ who receive the Association’s flying scholarships.
As a dedicated member and RAFALO, he never misses an opportunity to encourage personnel and veterans to join a dynamic and caring Association, making a positive difference to the lives of so many people, across the full age range of the RAF Family. Looking to the future he sees the Association continuing to grow, with RAFA Kidz, being another great example of how the Association is adding to its portfolio of support to the RAF Family.”
Marion Wells | Associate member | 5 years a member
“Hello, my name is Marion and I’ve been an Associate member for seven years. I joined because I got to a point in my life where all I was doing was working and running around after my children. I didn’t know anyone to say hello to when shopping nor did I feel that I had any connection to where I was living. I made the decision to join a local group where I could get to know people and hopefully make a difference.
By chance I met a WW2 veteran collecting for the Wings Appeal in a local supermarket. On his stand he had a photo of himself with his comrades, stood in front of a Lancaster bomber. I remarked how similar he looked to my dad (who joined up towards the end of the war) –that was the start of my RAFA journey!
I passionately believe that we all owe a debt of gratitude to those that wear the pale blue uniform and to those that support them. If it were not for people like them and their self-less commitment, our lives could be so different. I’ve chosen to be part of an organisation that ensures that such a sacrifice does not result in suffering, poverty or loneliness.
I remain involved with RAFA because there are so many people that could benefit from being part of ‘The Family’ in some way or other; I love the fact that I can help start someone else’s RAFA journey, whether that be as a beneficiary, a new branch member or as a volunteer.
Having been the Wings Appeal Organiser and the Chair of my local branch, I’ve also taken on the role of Caseworker so that I can offer more directed assistance to those in my community. The fact that the Association invests in its volunteers, tells me that I’m involved with a forward thinking and professional organisation, that wants to deliver the best [welfare] service possible.
RAFA is very much about ‘the family’. Over the last 7 years I received accredited training, met many interesting people, all with a common bond and I’ve had some truly ‘money can’t buy’ experiences, and all because of a photo in a supermarket!”
If you’d like to know more about joining the RAF Association contact us today. We can’t wait to welcome you into our family.
*Terms and conditions: This offer entitles you to a ten per cent discount on a single order from RAFATRAD Ltd. and excludes delivery charge. This offer is valid until 12/11/2019 and may only be used once. This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer and we reserve the right to change or remove this offer at any given time.