The astonishing RAF Benevolent Fund

The Heart of the RAF FamilyBack in November, I mentioned the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund in debate and I recently had the pleasure of meeting Paul Hewson, the Fund’s Regional Director for London, Home Counties and South England.

As it says on the Fund’s site:

We are the RAF’s leading welfare charity providing practical, financial and – in some cases – emotional support to all members of the RAF family, from childhood through to old age. We help with issues from childcare and relationship difficulties to injury and disability, and from financial hardship and debt to illness and bereavement.

The Benevolent Fund is a fantastic organisation, funded entirely by voluntary donations, including from serving people, who often give half a day’s pay a year to help their fellows. It’s a great testament to the spirit of the Royal Air Force that the Fund is able to provide a wide range of help to the entire RAF family without calling on taxpayer support.

There’s the Big Society in action: people choosing freely to provide for one another. It’s not a concept which belongs to any particular political party or group. It is simply community at its best.

Makes me proud to have served.

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