RAF Association calls for volunteers across Bude to tackle loneliness
The RAF Association is looking to recruit volunteers across Bude for its befriending service, which pairs volunteers with members of the RAF community who are struggling with feeling lonely or isolated.
With 170,000 RAF veterans dealing with issues of isolation, and 85,000 of them coping specifically with feelings of loneliness,1 the service is a valuable source of companionship to members of the RAF family.
Looking to recruit volunteers from all backgrounds who are 18 years old or over, the Association’s Volunteer Manager, Katharine Lord, points out there are key qualities they look for in befrienders: “Befrienders can play such an important role in somebody’s life and while there is no single type of person we look for, a good befriender is someone that is caring and empathetic, able to build a rapport with people, is reliable and a good listener.”
Volunteers support befriendees in a number of ways such as popping round for a cup of tea, researching local community groups where the befriendee could potentially meet new friends, or simply being at the end of the phone for a chat.
It’s not just the befriendee who benefits from the service. The benefits for volunteers include learning new skills, building confidence, meeting new people and the opportunity to give back to their community. Those who successfully complete training will also achieve the AIM Awards Level 1 Award in Befriending qualification.
Kelly, an Association befriender said: “Everyone you meet is so interesting and they all have a twinkle in their eye about what they got up to. It’s brilliant!”
The training given to volunteers is a one-day course, run locally, that covers everything volunteers need to know to be an effective befriender.
To find out more, search for ‘befriender’ roles on the RAF Association website at www.rafa.org.uk/volunteer. You can also call 0800 018 2361 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Royal Air Forces Association
The Royal Air Forces Association (or RAF Association) is a membership organisation and registered charity that provides welfare support to the RAF family.
The Association recognises that RAF personnel and their immediate families dedicate their lives to their country, and we believe that such a sacrifice should not result in suffering, poverty or loneliness.
Whether it’s an injured airman or woman fighting to get back on their feet, a young child missing their parent away on overseas operations, or a World War II veteran needing a shoulder to lean on, we are here to help all generations of RAF personnel and their families. We also support serving families if they need us. We give practical, emotional and financial support.
Our membership of more than 72,000 includes serving RAF personnel, veterans and members of the public who want to show their support for the work that we do.
Across the UK in 2017 the Association carried out more than 115,000 welfare contacts, calls and visits, helped tell thousands of bedtime stories to children whose parents were away on operations, and gave tailored holidays to 2,500 RAF veterans, widows and family at our Wings Breaks hotels. Our support ranges from simply providing conversation and friendship to preparing and submitting application forms for financial assistance.
Charity numbers: 226686 (England and Wales), SCO37673 (Scotland).