‘Isolated No More’ – Art by David Tovey

 

The RAF Benevolent Fund is launching a new Telephone Friendship Group aimed at LGBTQ+ veterans in the RAF.

The initiative comes following the release of The Etherton Review in July 2023, which highlighted the deeply upsetting and unfair way in which the LGBTQ+ community were treated in the Armed Forces prior to the year 2000 and the repeal of the so called ‘gay ban’.

Furthermore, a study also released last year by Northumbria University into the enduring impact of the ‘gay ban’ upon our veterans and their families, revealed that 84.4% of LGBTQ+ veterans affected by the ban reported feeling lonely and 62.2% socially isolated, a consequence of decades of employing camouflage techniques to hide their sexuality.

As an organisation, the RAF Benevolent Fund strives to be inclusive and supportive for all members of the RAF Family and is expanding its successful Telephone Friendship Groups service, aimed to improve loneliness and isolation within the veteran community. The Fund is in the process of creating a Group specifically for the LGBTQ+ community, providing a safe and supportive environment to talk to others and build new friendships.

If you would like to take part in the Telephone Friendship Group, or know anyone who may be interested, please contact support@rafbf.org.uk

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