Last week, I visited the RAF Benevolent Fund head office to learn more about the services they provide to veterans and serving personnel.
Representatives from the charity told me about their centenary campaign, Join The Search. Change A Life, which encourages members of the public to help the charity find potential beneficiaries. Unfortunately, many people who are entitled to support are often reluctant to ask for help so this campaign aims to ensure that that all veterans are able to access the support that is rightfully theirs. The Benevolent Fund estimates that as many as 100,000 people are in urgent need of what could be life-changing support.
During my visit, Former Senior Aircraftman and Fund Ambassador Mike Goody told me his moving story. Mike was on patrol with the RAF Regiment in Afghanistan in 2008 when his vehicle struck an IED. He was trapped underneath for three hours and the impact shattered almost every bone in his lower left leg.
After two and a half years of painful rehabilitation, Mike took the difficult decision to have his leg amputated below the knee. He explained how the RAF Benevolent Fund supported him in the aftermath of his accident and what life has been like since. People serving in the Armed Forces face unique challenges, so getting to hear about these first-hand was invaluable.
Thank you to Mike and everyone else who involved in the Benevolent Fund’s important work. If you would like to refer someone to the RAF Benevolent Fund, please go to rafbf.org or call 0300 102 1919.