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What Does RAFA mean to those serving...and those who have served?

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What Does RAFA mean to those serving...and those who have served?

Old 15th Apr 2017, 17:47
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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I think it’s an organisation struggling for relevance amongst current serving personnel. I believe a large number are members (signed up during RTS/IOT) but take no active part and their membership lapses on leaving.

That said RAFA do some great welfare work and deserve more support for this alone.
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Old 15th Apr 2017, 19:21
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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Accepting the charitable work they do, the ground floor RAFA element seems largely to be ex-National Service enjoying free beer. Please forgive me if I don't want to spend my evenings down at the Club drinking and chatting with LAC Bloggs who last served in 1949
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Old 15th Apr 2017, 20:31
  #23 (permalink)  
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Distressing slightly, and touching on MPN's LAC, in the RAF Club I met a Wellington pilot who had served on ASW in the Gulf of Aden and a Hurricane pilot who had served in Murmansk.

Now they were fascinating.

OTOH RAFA Klingons do exist.
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Old 15th Apr 2017, 23:26
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by MPN11 View Post
...the ground floor RAFA element...
I would love to know what this is supposed to mean...

S-D
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Old 16th Apr 2017, 01:51
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Joining the RAF as a boy entrant you paid a voluntary 6d per week,probably as part of your signing on process!!When the time came for some help from them they politly said ,sorry cannot help you.I had an interview with my grp captain and had my payment to them stopped ,three of my chums also stopped.Grp Capt was not at all pleased.
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Old 16th Apr 2017, 06:54
  #26 (permalink)  
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Oldpax, that confirms my view that even the RAF considered the RAF BF to be for officers and RAFA to be for OR. Immediately post war the bulk of the RAF would have been NS churning over every two years with a very small cadre of General List officers and a larger number of Supplementary List aircrew.
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Old 16th Apr 2017, 10:13
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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I have been a life member for 25 years, don't use the clubs for the same reason as many others but respect the work they do. Since retirement I now am the OC of the local ATC unit and my Cadets turn out every year to raise funds for RAFA each September and we do get true support from the local Club, from Flying Scholarships for both Gliding and Powered Flying, to support for projects etc. To be honest there isn't a club within 15/20 miles of home so that is probably the biggest hurdle to joining in.
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Old 16th Apr 2017, 18:14
  #28 (permalink)  

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The last time I saw my late father (a National Serviceman) he was in his wheel chair rattling a RAFA collecting box. He was his local area's top funds collector and he was given an award in recognition. In truth he probably needed help more than some of the ones receiving it from the same organisation but he was too proud to ask. I understand his branch no longer exists; it closed not long after his death.
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Old 16th Apr 2017, 18:53
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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I am a Life Member, and a proud Member of RAFA Sud Ouest France. We raise money to support RAFA's welfare work, we meet socially several times a year and we support the French community in their honouring of RAF aircrew and others lost in wartime(several of us were at one such event yesterday). The Branch supports veterans in need of welfare support, and in many cases provides a link between the Brits and the French community. I am a strong supporter. The "Ben Fund for officers and RAFA for other ranks is a wholly misguided view; in many welfare cases the two organisations work very closely together.
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Old 16th Apr 2017, 19:10
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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One aspect that bothers us both is how many beneficiaries tap RBL, and their single-Service charities, and other sources ... we have never seen any inter-agency coordination. The OH used to assist at RBL 'Beneficiary Day', and never saw any evidence of cross-checking.
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Old 16th Apr 2017, 21:07
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Seeing as you're online MPN11 and reading the thread, any chance of answer to the question I raised?

S-D
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Old 16th Apr 2017, 21:19
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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Joined as a life member before I left as I was medically downgraded and wanted to have someone "in my corner" if I needed help when I left. I didn't need any help in the end. Likewise a few years later, I was applying for a war pension so joined the RBL just in case. Didn't need help for that either.

The RAFA don't have a club in my town so don't go to the clubs. I did visit one a couple of times but found it to be very unwelcoming. The local RBL meet once a month in a Weatherspoons. I haven't been either. The clubs I have been to around the country just seem to be filled with the local non-military drinking cheaper pints.
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Old 17th Apr 2017, 06:15
  #33 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Wander00 View Post
The "Ben Fund for officers and RAFA for other ranks is a wholly misguided view; in many welfare cases the two organisations work very closely together.
I agree, but contend that that was the perception. Why were officers persuaded to support the one and the men the other? Why two? Certainly Fund implies charity and Association implies club.

I used to use the RAFBF for insurance advice until the FSA stepped in.
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Old 17th Apr 2017, 08:24
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Pontius Navigator View Post
Why were officers persuaded to support the one and the men the other? Why two? Certainly Fund implies charity and Association implies club.
When I joined the RAF as a 16 yr old Boy Entrant in Oct 1959 one of the first things we did was to sign a form allocating one day's pay per year to the RAFBF. The RAFA was never mentioned. Fortunately I've never needed the services of either organisation.
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Old 17th Apr 2017, 09:20
  #35 (permalink)  
 
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I'm fairly certain I too made a 'voluntary' contribution to the RAFBF when I joined as a direct entry. The one day's pay per year certainly rings a bell. Likewise never needed their services. I do get the occasional letter requesting a donation, it's written by a WO as I recall. From the letter they appear to do some good work helping the needy. I do make a donation now and then.
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Old 17th Apr 2017, 10:49
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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In the last few years I have had the opportunity to observe how both these organisations work to help ex-RAF members - my wife is a voluntary visitor for a charity which deals with people who have contracted a life ending illness, whilst a close friend is a SSAFA coordinator. Both have found the RAFBF excellent at coming to the assistance of RAF members, whether veterans or serving, of any rank but seemingly more for non-commissioned, and much more so than any of the other single service charities. However, for the Army the Regimental Associations sometimes can be much more helpful - IF you qualify.
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Old 17th Apr 2017, 11:28
  #37 (permalink)  
 
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Looks like a bit of memory loss on my part.Not the RAFA then but the benevolent fund,that then was what I opted out of.
Ricardian you were 35th entry then?
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Old 18th Apr 2017, 09:12
  #38 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by oldpax View Post
Looks like a bit of memory loss on my part.Not the RAFA then but the benevolent fund,that then was what I opted out of.
Ricardian you were 35th entry then?
I was 38th entry Tel II (Oct 1959 to Apr 1961), was still paying one days per year to the RAFBF when I was demobbed in 1973 & joined GCHQ.
When we moved up here shortly after I retired in 2003 I joined the local RAFA which meets in the RBL on mainland Orkney, even though I live on Stronsay; I stopped paying my subs after a couple of years when the only contact the RAFA ever made with me was a letter every Christmas containing a book of raffle tickets for me to sell.
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Old 18th Apr 2017, 10:13
  #39 (permalink)  
 
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Oh, those bloody Raffle tickets! Straight into the recycling bin every time!
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Old 18th Apr 2017, 12:21
  #40 (permalink)  
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...realised there was a subtle pecking order
There always is, I joined as a "Life Member" during my last year of service, but when I first tried the local branch after demob I found that if you weren't a WW2 Air Gunner you hadn't really been in the RAF. I'd had enough of bullying ex-Air Gunners when I was a Brat so I haven't followed up.
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