THE coronavirus crisis has led to financial hardship for a great many people across the UK.

However, work here at the RAF Benevolent Fund hasn’t stopped. In fact, we have awarded more than £1.5m in individual grants since lockdown measures were announced on March 23.

These grants help support retired and serving RAF personnel and their families at this challenging and uncertain time.

That’s why we have launched a new online application system to allow members of the RAF Family to access financial assistance more easily than ever before.

But beyond the immediate threat to our nation’s health, the coronavirus pandemic does not pose financial concerns alone.

Many older members of the RAF family struggle with social isolation and loneliness on a daily basis; a problem that is compounded by the necessary social distancing rules.

To tackle this issue, we have introduced a weekly Check and Chat service, and our welfare team are currently contacting vulnerable members of the RAF Family to invite them to use this.

We have also expanded our Telephone Friendship Groups service to allow more veterans to join in a weekly chat.

Last year we launched an awareness campaign, Join The Search, Change A Life, aiming to get more veterans and their partners back on our radar. This initiative is more important now than ever before.

I urge your readers to consider their neighbours, their family and their friends; if they previously served in the RAF or are the spouse of someone that once served, they are eligible for our support – be it financial, practical, or emotional.

To refer someone to the RAF Benevolent Fund, please visit or call 0300 102 1919.

Air Vice-Marshal Chris Elliot

Chef Executive

RAF Benevolent Fund