Covid19 update from RAFA

Covid19 update from RAFA

We are acutely conscious that members of our RAF community such as veterans and their loved ones are particularly vulnerable during the current coronavirus pandemic. Many fall into high-risk categories, and the potential for loneliness and isolation has increased significantly.

Coronavirus means that they need our help more than ever.

This is a fast-moving situation and we are adapting our approach in line with official guidance. The need to suppress the spread of coronavirus clearly means we must temporarily change our face-to-face approach so that we do not place anyone at greater risk of contracting the virus:

  • Our welfare case-workers and befrienders are continuing to provide support via telephone and online communications rather than in person.
  • We must temporarily suspend services such as breaks in our Wings Hotels and other facilities and our drop-in welfare facilities, but we will be keeping in close contact with those who use them to make sure we are friends they can rely on.
  • We have put contingency plans in place for our retirement housing complexes so that our many residents who live there can continue to do so in safety.
  • We are working on alternative ways to deliver essential training and support such as our new Finding It Tough? mental wellbeing programme.
  • We are doing all we can to maintain our RAFA Kidz nursery and after-school services which are essential for key workers in serving RAF families - while protecting their children’s health and wellbeing.

But this is not enough. From next week, we will be launching four new emergency projects:

  • A telephone outreach service which will proactively support our beneficiaries and other high-risk members of our RAF community to check on their welfare and offer them regular contact (telephone or online).
  • A friendship helpline that anyone in our RAF community can call if they are feeling isolated, in need of more specific support or simply want a chat with someone friendly who understands.
  • A daily RAF-themed online entertainment slot that people can look forward to as part of their routine while they are isolating, from quizzes to live-streamed sing-a-longs and armchair fitness sessions.
  • Bag drops of vital provisions to the doorsteps of the most vulnerable members of our RAF family.

Our Association and our RAF community can always be relied on to step forward to help in difficult times. The friendship and kindness we show to each other over the next weeks and months will be crucial.

We have begun to redeploy our employees and volunteers to make these projects happen – and we will be contacting our branches and our existing volunteer force to ask for their help. But we will also need more support if we are to achieve what we need to.

If you can join with us and volunteer to help with one of our emergency projects, please email enquiries@rafa.org.uk to find out more. We are working tirelessly to get these projects set up over coming days and would welcome any support you can give.

Alternatively, if you need our help and support - or even just a friendly chat - please do not hesitate to contact us by phoning 0800 018 2361.

We are here to support you and anyone who needs us. Let’s all be there for each other.

Your RAF Association