What we do
Our welfare mission statement
The Royal Air Forces Association is committed to providing confidential, professional and fair services to members of the wider RAF family from the youngest recruit to the oldest veteran and their families. Ongoing training and support for welfare volunteers and staff ensures services are consistent and of the highest possible standard. All will be treated with dignity and respect at all times.
When someone in the RAF family needs help, the charity they turn to is the Royal Air Forces Association. Whatever their need, they can rely on us every step of the way to give practical assistance, expert advice and emotional support. Throughout life’s challenges, we are there for them, in person and on the phone, like a good friend should be.
See some examples of the type of support we provide, here.
How we help the RAF Family
With thousands of members and volunteers across the UK and further afield, we have the network needed for a personal, one-to-one approach. We’re there whenever an injured airman is fighting to get back on their feet or the widow of a WWII veteran needs a shoulder to lean on. We’re there when a family needs support to stay strong and connected despite the separation that comes with RAF service. We’re trusted to work tirelessly to make sure no member of our family ever feels alone or unsupported.
Who do we help?
Today, there are over 1.5 million people in the RAF family who are either serving or who have served in the RAF (whether as a regular or reservist) and their spouses, partners or dependent children. We know family doesn’t stop there, so for some of our work we also count parents and close relatives, air-minded youth organisations, contractors and civil servants supporting the RAF as part of the family. You do not need to be a member to receive our help.
Our members make the difference
Our members, in over 400 Branches worldwide, are at the heart of the Association. Many volunteer their time to deliver welfare services, raise essential funds and help in countless other important ways. A large number of the volunteers who support our crucial welfare work have been trained to nationally accredited standards. We have over 540 volunteer Honorary Welfare Officers undertaking almost 13,000 welfare visits annually. They offer everything from conversation and friendship to help preparing and submitting application forms for financial assistance.
Just a typical working year for the RAF Association!
In a typical year, these are just some of the ways that we help our servicemen and women, past and present. You can find out more information about all of this great work on this site.
- Over 61,900 members offering friendship and support to one another
- Over 540 volunteer welfare officers with professional accredited training
- Our network of volunteer welfare officers make over 102,200 welfare visits and calls offering personal support to meet each individual’s and family’s needs
- We give expert advice and professional assistance on War Pensions and the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme, achieving more than £540,000 in pension and compensation payments
- We help 2,500 people enjoy a much needed Wings Break
- Our Storybook Wings initiative has supported 2,300 RAF children who struggle when their parent is not at home – whether on deployment or working away during the week
- We fund the refurbishment of 30 comfortable contact houses on stations where, for example, a separated parent can spend a precious weekend with their children
- We assist around 50 RAF veterans or their widows/widowers to lead safe, independent lives in our sheltered and supported housing
- Through the RAF Families Federation we give RAF personnel and their families the chance to influence future policy
- We distribute more than £1.8m in welfare grants to serving and ex-serving personnel
- We work with Alabaré and The Soldier’s Charity to help homeless ex-military personnel to rebuild their lives
This important work needs your support. Please look around the site to see how you can help us be there for the RAF family whenever they need us.