You are now leaving the Turn2us site. Turn2us is not responsible for content on third party sites.

Grants Spotlight: RAF Benevolent Fund

If you are a current or former member of the Royal Air Force, their partner or dependent children (aged under 18 years), and you are in need, help may be available to you from the RAF Benevolent Fund - which is celebrating 100 years of service this year.

Rebekah Sharrock, PR Manager, at the RAF Benevolent Fund explains the support the charity gives.

The Royal Air Force (RAF) Benevolent Fund provides practical, emotional and financial support, to the people we help whenever they need us. We are committed to getting them through the toughest times, whatever life may send their way. We’ll consider any request for assistance, however big or small, providing a tailor-made approach to each individual situation.

How we help

Serving RAF personnel and their dependents

We are unique in providing a range of support for serving RAF and their dependants, from support with childcare and relationship difficulties to help with retraining, injury, disability, illness and bereavement.

Former serving RAF members and their partners

For former serving RAF members and their partners, we offer financial grants to aid day-to-day living, cover one-off unexpected costs for practical items like a new fridge or replace a broken boiler, right through to renovating homes to help people live independently.

Service personnel making the transition to civilian life

For service personnel who are making the transition to civilian life, the RAF Benevolent Fund can be there to provide training grants or mobility aids and equipment for personnel leaving the service due to sickness or injury.

Welfare services

The Fund also provides a range of welfare services which have been inspired by research into the needs of the serving and retired RAF community. Wellbeing breaks provide much-needed respite for veterans and their families, some of whom enjoy trips to Princess Marina House, our centre on the south coast.

Youth support

The Fund’s Airplay and Ben Club youth support scheme provides a safe place for youngsters growing up on RAF stations across the country. A partnership with relationship counselling service Relate gives RAF personnel and veterans access to free relationship support. Serving couples are also able to access the online course Building Stronger Families.

Support with mental wellbeing

The Listening and Counselling service gives support with mental wellbeing, in partnership with Anxiety UK, as well as support for those who have suffered a bereavement.

To date, more than 6,000 RAF personnel have signed up to the mindfulness app, Headspace, funded by the charity.

For older veterans facing loneliness and isolation, the Telephone Friendship Groups offer a chance to have a weekly chat with friends who also have a link to the RAF.

How we helped Howard

Veterans like 96-year-old Howard Battson, who served as a bomb aimer with Bomber Command during the Second World War. He married his wife, June, in 1946 and the couple shared 70 happy years together until she passed away three years ago.

Living alone in the home that is stitched with memories of his wife, Howard began to feel lonely. That's where the RAF Benevolent Fund stepped in.

He says: “I haven’t got over it, not yet. When you sleep with the same person every night for more or less 70 years, that is such a lovely feeling. When the RAF Benevolent Fund phoned me and asked if I would like to join the Telephone Friendship Group, I jumped at the chance. It was a wonderful idea because it meant it opened my horizons. Up until then I was a lonely old soul. This is a way of meeting new people.”

Find out more about Howard by watching the RAF Benevolent Fund video at the top of this page.

Find out more about the RAF Benevolent Fund

There is more information on the RAF Benevolent Fund website

Applications can be made on an application form available directly from the charity at the address below or by using the online form on the RAF Benevolent Fund website.

Applications can be submitted by the individual or through an ex-service welfare agency such as RAFA or SSAFA. The fund runs a free helpline which potential applicants are welcome to call for advice and support on the application process. Applications are considered on a continual basis.

You can also contact the RAF Benevolent Fund on:

Telephone: 0800 169 2942

Read the Turn2us Grants Search profile on the RAF Benevolent Fund's welfare grants

Read the Turn2us Grants Search profile on the RAF Benevolent Fund's education grants