President’s welcome to the 2015 Annual Review
I am delighted to introduce the 2015 Annual Review by announcing that last year, for the first time in 25 years, our membership grew in size. The Royal Air Forces Association now has 61,900 members and over 85 per cent of recruits entering the Royal Air Force join us.
Why is this important? RAF personnel, veterans and their families sacrifice so much in the service of our country; they are unsung heroes living quietly and modestly in every community. When the tables are turned and they are the ones in desperate need of help, the RAF Association is their first port of call. The vital role our network of members plays in supporting those in need cannot be over-stated.
With mixed feelings I report that 2015 saw another increase in the welfare support we were called on to provide. We are clearly reaching more of those in need, but there is much still to be done. This annual review shows just a fraction of the impact the RAF Association has on the lives of so many people: from those who find themselves isolated, lonely and in need of a friend, to those in the direst of circumstances who rely on the more complex support provided by our highly-trained volunteer welfare officers and specialist teams.
Charities, quite rightly, have been in the media spotlight this year. I am proud of the high ethical standards upheld by the RAF Association in all areas. We will continue to ensure that we put the best interests of our members, supporters and those we help first in everything we do.
I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to the thousands of people who work tirelessly week in, week out to ensure that the RAF Association can undertake its vital work. From welfare and fundraising volunteers to Branch committee members and trustees, thank you all.
Air Marshal Sir Dusty Miller KBE