Throughout December, RAF stations have celebrated the festive season with a host of Christmas lunches, activities, and hamper deliveries to veterans, supported by the RAF Benevolent Fund.

The Fund awarded 24 grants of £500 to stations to host Christmas dinners and hamper deliveries for veterans. There were 634 veterans who received Christmas meals and 212 hampers delivered.

Around 47 local veterans received a Christmas lunch from RAF Shawbury and were waited on by uniformed personnel. Gail Moore, Community Development Officer at RAF Shawbury, said:

“This year, we at RAF Shawbury wanted to cast our net a little wider for our annual Christmas lunch. And so, on the back of an ever-growing veteran engagement programme within Shropshire, we were able to invite local veterans to this year’s event. The very kind support offered by the Fund helped us to do this. It was a great event enjoyed by all and so I very much hope we can do the same next year, only a little bit bigger!”

Padre Mike Hall, the event organiser at RAF Valley, said: “We are immensely grateful to the RAF Benevolent Fund and other funders for their generous support for this event. Dozens of veterans from the Anglesey community were able to gather for an amazing Christmas meal and get-together. With new friends made and old friendships renewed this has been a wonderful start to the Christmas celebrations.”

RAF Cosford celebrated the festive season by hosting a Christmas Fayre which included a Christmas dinner for veterans, the Junior Ranks’ Christmas dinner and activities for the family. Jean Hartshorne, Community Development Officer said:

“This year’s event proved extremely successful due to integrating the Veterans Christmas dinner with the families and Junior ranks Christmas Fayre and party providing a plethora of activities for all to enjoy including a caricaturist, a photo booth, stalls, a pantomime and mulled wine. We are forever grateful to the RAF Benevolent Fund for their unwavering support to the RAF Family.”

Irene Greenwood, Welfare Programmes Manager at the Fund, said: “We know that Christmas can be a difficult time for some members of the RAF Family, particularly those who struggle with loneliness and social isolation, so we’re delighted to have supported the stations with lunches, festive fun and hamper deliveries for veterans. This seemingly small gesture reminds them that they are not forgotten and are part of a bigger RAF Family.”

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