RAFA Global Branch Welfare Support
My name is Nicky Loveday and I am your Welfare Officer for the Global Branch. I retired from the Service in March 2012 and have undertaken various roles with the Royal Air Forces Association (RAFA) and the Air Cadet Organisation but have been working as a Freestanding Caseworker for the Northern Area of RAFA for the past 3 years.
You will be aware that as well as a membership organisation, RAFA is also a registered charity that provides friendship and welfare support to anyone who is serving or has served in the Air Forces, their spouses, windows/widowers and their dependents. Friendship and welfare support is provided to all eligible personnel irrespective of their membership of the Association.
Whilst this friendship and welfare is usually delivered via Branches and their Honorary Welfare Officers, in areas where Branches have closed and a Virtual Branch has been established (as in our case with the Global Branch), the welfare assistance will be provided by the existing and well-established worldwide RAFA Welfare team through the Regional Area Welfare Officers.
Assistance may be provided for eligible individuals who are in need of information, help and support resulting from actual financial distress, disability, sickness, convalescence or loneliness. Assistance may take the form of respite breaks (known as Wings Breaks), sheltered housing, assisted living, war pensions, befriending, general welfare or a signposting service informing individuals of specialised organisations and agencies that may also be able to help. Applicants are assessed on individual need and financial circumstances and where applicable the assigned welfare officer will seek grants and loans from the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund and other charitable organisations.
My role as your Welfare Officer will be to refer any eligible clients from either our Branch or people that we know in to the Association’s Regional Welfare system. Before I can refer clients in to the Welfare system, it is important that the individual clients have given their consent to be contacted by a local Association Welfare Officer. There is no formal consent process but before you refer anyone to me, please ensure that they are aware that you intend to refer them to someone who may be able to help them and that they are happy to be referred and contacted. Please don’t worry about confirming their eligibility for assistance ie confirming their Armed Forces service or relationship to someone who served; this will be done by their local Welfare Officer. NB: The RAFA Welfare system can deal with clients from all 3 Services and their dependents so feel free to refer all potential clients to me irrespective of which Service of the Armed Forces they are linked to.
When you do refer someone to me, please include their full name, address and a telephone number and a brief explanation of what kind of help or support they may need eg Mrs A has mobility problems which is leaving her socially isolated and struggling to do her own shopping; she is not eligible for a Motability Scheme mobility scooter so would like to explore whether a Service Charity could assist.
So, I am now at your service, should you need my help or assistance, or you know of an eligible individual in your community who might benefit from friendship or welfare support from the Association or other Service charities.
Global Branch Welfare Officer