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RAF benevolent fund

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RAF benevolent fund

Old 20th Aug 2019, 11:45
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RAF benevolent fund

Before turning to more controversial matters, I should like this week to mention the unusual dilemma of the controller of a major charitable fund.

Air Vice Marshal Murray, the controller of the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund, recently explained to me that since almost all of the huge numbers of those who served in the RAF during the Second World War are now dead and before long so too will be those conscripted during the Cold War, there is now a rapidly diminishing cohort of potential beneficiaries.

Some of those are in real financial need, unable to afford the care which they require, but his problem is finding them.

So if any readers know of a member of the great family of ex RAF servicemen and women who is in need, please contact the Controller, RAF Benevolent Fund at: http://www.rafbf.org.uk.

This was in Tebbits article in the Torygragh today apols if it has been posted elsewhere

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Old 21st Aug 2019, 11:39
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I recently sent an email to the Fund offering a fund raising idea and a long term financial commitment by myself and received no reply!!
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Old 21st Aug 2019, 19:32
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If you are running out of people who can be helped in their old age, then how about helping RAF Service personnel with some of the day to day challenges of today’s Service life? How about bidding for Pay as You Dine or Multi-Activity contracts and then using the money to help feed/shelter/ablute the younger that endure poor meals, mouldy rooms/quarters, cold ablutions and other failing infra. We don’t seem to have NAAFIs on main operating bases these days - just Costa coffees that charge more for sandwiches/drinks than you can buy outside the wire - so there is definitely somewhere you could help!

Just a thought...
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Old 22nd Aug 2019, 09:05
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LJ

. Well said. But I don’t think they’ll go for it....
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Old 22nd Aug 2019, 13:45
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LJ. A very good suggestion! The Malcom Clubs provided what the RAF/NAAFI couldn't or wouldn't. An RAFBF tea and bun wagon doing the rounds would be a good start.
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Old 25th Aug 2019, 20:10
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You will find that the caterers will have a clause in their contract that forbids any other organisation from providing any form of catering on the unit.
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Old 26th Aug 2019, 13:00
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Originally Posted by Fareastdriver View Post
You will find that the caterers will have a clause in their contract that forbids any other organisation from providing any form of catering on the unit.
If those caterers do not provide a service that meets the requirements of the personnel of that unit, as highlighted by LJ above, then that contract should be challenged.

That is exactly what OC 48 Sqn at RAF Changi did in the mid 60's, when NAAFI suddenly stopped providing night time refreshments to his First Line Servicing personnel. NAAFI went ballistic and sent out a senior manager from London. The Changi Station Commander supported the 48 Boss, saying that if his Sqn Cdrs told him that their operational efficiency was being adversely affected by the NAAFI's ban, then alternative sources of refreshments were essential.

The result was that a local contractor provided 24 Hr refreshments at First Line, and daytime ones to Sqn HQ, thereafter. An agreement produced a Price List, a monthly sub to the Sqn Fund, payment for public utilities consumed, and the balance to be retained by the contractor. This arrangement continued until 48 Sqn withdrew from Singapore I believe.

Of course, all of that needed the Powers of a Subordinate Commander that pertained then. The reduction of those powers, and creeping contractorization, is where it all started to go wrong I believe. Which brings us back to the sorry state of affairs instanced by LJ...
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Old 27th Aug 2019, 09:09
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Originally Posted by Fareastdriver View Post
You will find that the caterers will have a clause in their contract that forbids any other organisation from providing any form of catering on the unit.
How right. It was Senior Officers that approved pay as you dine. Whilst I hold them responsible, for their short sightedness, they only did it because of the increasing moaning coming from some quarters saying they did not want to pay for meals they were not taking. People resented paying for meals 24/7 when they went home for the weekend or off shift. People got what they wanted, then the unintended consequences are realised and not many people like the result.

The selling off of the MOD estates, MQs etc, again approved by those senior officers who cared so deeply. How many of them had to live with the consequences? It is too much to go into to the maintenance contracts and how successful they have been.

Short term gain. Annington homes and Nomura have made an absolute fortune.

Do people really think the Messes are better run with a civilian contract rather than service personnel?

How many of those who were involved with the selling of these assets happen upon jobs with the successful owners?

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Old 27th Aug 2019, 15:47
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I believe that RAFBF and RAFA are in the very early stages of thinking about joining forces - which would make a lot of sense.
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Old 28th Aug 2019, 09:35
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The Nip, you confirm the process of decay that I proposed in post #7. The only real commanders in the Royal Air Force (commanders of personnel) are behind the station gates, ie Station and Unit Commanders in the main. Outside those gates it is a bureaucratic pyramid, and was designed deliberately that way to appease the bean counters in the bleak years between the world wars.

It is those Station and Unit Commanders who have had their discretionary powers of subordinate commanders whittled away over the years, so that everything and anything has to be referred up the line. The result is the barren desert of poor accommodation, poor catering, and poor infrastructure outlined by LJ.

That we have come to the point where the consideration of Service Charities needing to be roped in to address the paucity of care for Service Personnel is a direct reflection of the effects of reducing the powers of subordinate commanders and the wholesale move to contractorization. Both such policies need to go into full reverse ASAP, as well as ameliorating the situation now with any available voluntary charity input.

Without two way traditional loyalty, both up and down, the whole ethos of Service life is on life support. We need to do much better than that!

Last edited by Chugalug2; 29th Aug 2019 at 14:27. Reason: Wrong attribution
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Old 28th Aug 2019, 23:52
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Old 29th Aug 2019, 14:26
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Trumpet trousers, thanks for the kind words. I know that posts such as mine can often irritate those still serving as, "It was so much better in my day", with some justification of course. But when it is confirmed by them, then action is clearly needed.

Voutezac, interesting post and apologies for wrongly referring to it as justification for mine, I will amend. Not sure of the synergy between the two though, other than that the one may include the prospective recipients of the other's largesse. Of course, many others aren't in RAFA and should not be overlooked in the name of administrative inconvenience.
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Old 15th Sep 2019, 08:57
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Having spent more than 35 years in the RAF (some of those years on stations where various activities were contracted out) and a further 8 working for contractors, I do have some understanding of the situation. My experience indicates that at "contract start" all contractors try to meet the requirements of the "authority." However, it is often the case that the the contract requirements are poorly specified, because the people writing the requirement have little idea of what is required! For example if the contract does not require round the clock availability of sustenance, it is unlikely a contractor will provide it Gratis after the contract has been let.After all a contractor is running a business that presumably needs to make some sort of profit - and don't forget that audited annual accounts are required to be lodged with Companies House, so you can see whether anybody is being "ripped off."

Last edited by racingrigger; 15th Sep 2019 at 09:29.
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Old 15th Sep 2019, 11:51
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Originally Posted by racingrigger View Post
Having spent more than 35 years in the RAF (some of those years on stations where various activities were contracted out) and a further 8 working for contractors, I do have some understanding of the situation. My experience indicates that at "contract start" all contractors try to meet the requirements of the "authority." However, it is often the case that the the contract requirements are poorly specified, because the people writing the requirement have little idea of what is required! For example if the contract does not require round the clock availability of sustenance, it is unlikely a contractor will provide it Gratis after the contract has been let.After all a contractor is running a business that presumably needs to make some sort of profit - and don't forget that audited annual accounts are required to be lodged with Companies House, so you can see whether anybody is being "ripped off."
Public accounts prove nothing. The company could be makig a reasonable profit (usually abut 5% of turnover) but paying huge salaries and bonuses which are just costs. There is no way to break down company accounts on a per site basis either. I agree that poor drafting is often to blame, but then if the contracts were short, improvements and changes could be added each year. This Kaizen (continuous improvement) principle ensures that things get better. Long contracts lead to cost cutting and poorer service each year.
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Old 3rd Oct 2019, 22:25
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RAF BF

Some of those are in real financial need, unable to afford the care which they require, but his problem is finding them. So if any readers know of a member of the great family of ex RAF servicemen and women who is in need, please contact the Controller, RAF Benevolent Fund at: http://www.rafbf.org.uk.

Hi SARF

Thanks for this. We've not long sent a note to CAS, info'ing the Controller, about someone in need. What you say, above, is very different indeed from the response we have had. The response plays the man, not the ball.

It would be inappropriate, at this point, to socialise the letter, and response, on this forum. However would you be kind enough to PM me and we can, hopefully, deliver on that which the Controller said to you?

I'd be very grateful

Thanks

Graham
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