Military support organisations
All of the military support services mentioned here are ‘in tune’ with the RAF community and here for both serving personnel as well as families.
Royal Air Forces Association
Established to provide friendship, help and support to serving and ex-serving RAF personnel and their families. The RAF Association is making an increasing contribution to the welfare of serving personnel via Contact Houses, wifi in communal areas and the parenting of the RAF Families Federation. The Association also provides respite care , sheltered housing and has also recently built up an amazing volunteer befriending service. It has a network of welfare officers across the country and overseas to whom RAF personnel can turn. Most units also have a RAFA Liaison Officer (RAFALO) who is a good first point of contact.
Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund
Providing practical, financial and, in some cases, emotional support to all members of the RAF family, from childhood through to old age. The RAF Benevolent Fund offers welfare breaks and also help with issues from childcare and relationship difficulties to injury and disability and from financial hardship and debt to illness and bereavement.
SSAFA (Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association) is a well-established Association which provides welfare support to all three services, both serving and veterans. This organisation holds a formal contract with the RAF to provide professional Social Work Practitioners and Personnel and Family Support Workers in support of RAF personnel and their families. Many units have SSAFA teams who provide practical support particularly to those whose partners are away from home. SSAFA also has volunteer groups at most stations if you wish to offer some volunteering time either as RAF personnel or a family member.
The Royal British Legion
Best known for their annual Poppy Appeal the Royal British Legion is the largest of the service charities and supports serving personnel, their families and veterans from all three services. It also runs drop in sessions in local towns and cities and particularly good if you aren’t living on a station. The Legion has a high profile and has significant funds at its disposal for the support of the military family. They also fund some great holidays for families on application and offer free will writing facilities.
The Church of St Clement Danes
St Clement Danes is the Central Church of the Royal Air Force. Located in the heart of London the impressive church sits on an island in the middle of the Strand. An atmosphere of peace and quiet prevails, quite set apart from the noise and traffic outside. Definitely worth a visit if you are ever in London!
General Armed Forces reference
The GOV.UK website provides a great one-stop reference point for areas such as the British Forces Post Office services guide, education, employment, finance, housing and accommodation, pensions and compensation, service complaints, security (useful social media guidelines for family).