As the RAF’s leading welfare charity, one of the most important things the RAF Benevolent Fund does is support those who have been left behind. People like Jacqui Thompson whose husband Gary was killed in Afghanistan in 2008. The charity was there to provide financial assistance to Jacqui and the couple’s five daughters in the immediate aftermath of Gary’s sudden death and in the years that followed. Offering financial assistance is just one of the ways the Fund can help those left behind who are lonely and isolated. We have introduced a number of new initiatives aimed at helping veterans. One such service is the Individual Support Service which practical and emotional support to older veterans.
As well as this, the Fund’s Princess Marina House in Rustington is a place where veterans can enjoy a respite break on the coast among friends. People like Derek Whitaker who, after caring for his wife for many years, was widowed in 2013. Derek’s wife Mary died the day before their 59th wedding anniversary, leaving him heartbroken and alone.
Princess Marina House was a place Derek had visited with Mary as a source of respite. Now in grieving for her it became a source of comfort. He returns regularly where he says he gets a warm welcome from staff and those who remember his Mary.
To find out more go to rafbf.org or call 0800 169 2942.
Air Comm Paul Hughesdon
Director of Welfare and Policy,
RAF Benevolent Fund
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