Many in the RAF community are at risk of going hungry this winter.

Join the fight against food poverty.

Many in the RAF community are at risk of going hungry this winter.

Join the fight against food poverty.

In July 2023, we responded to triple the number of requests for emergency financial assistance than in January 2022; with the Winter now upon us, the need for our support is set to rise.

A donation from you today could help put emergency food on the table and provide the essentials that people need to bridge the gap while longer term support is put in place.

£16 could help buy one week's emergency supply of food for one person.
£64 buys two weeks' emergency supply of food for a couple.
£128 buys two weeks' emergency supply of food for a family of four.

A decent meal makes such a difference.

The unprecedented rise in food costs means that so many in the RAF community will have to choose between eating a decent meal or heating their homes this winter.

A decent meal can make a huge difference as it provides the nutrients needed to stay healthy, feel well and have plenty of energy to get out and see family and friends.

We want to ensure no one in the RAF community goes hungry or without the support they desperately need.

But we can’t do it alone.

“I’d gone from being a serviceman fighting on the front line, to fighting to put food on the table.”

“I’d gone from being a serviceman fighting on the front line, to fighting to put food on the table.”

48-year-old Warren King, from West Yorkshire, served in the RAF for 15 years. A Senior Aircraftman, working in close protection, his career involved several overseas postings including two tours of Iraq.

Warren knew he wanted to join the RAF from an early age, first joining the Air Cadets at Huddersfield Branch 59 Squadron, before signing up in 1991. He says, “all the way through my RAF career, I absolutely loved it. I’ll never forget my brothers and sisters who I served with.”

After leaving the RAF in 2005, Warren settled in Hull. He was employed in door supervision and security work, but unfortunately suffered a shoulder injury after an incident where he was pushed down three flights of stairs. Shortly after, Warren became unemployed.

Moving from employment to relying on benefits took a massive strain on the household and Warren began to struggle with his mental wellbeing. He was diagnosed with anxiety and depression and at the same time began to experience financial difficulties. It was then that Warren reached out to the RAF Association’s casework team for help.

Our specialist team assessed Warren’s needs and organised practical, financial support which helped alleviate the financial pressures that he was experiencing. When he received a further diagnosis of PTSD in May 2022, our highly trained caseworkers also helped Warren to access vital emotional support.

“The NHS said that I’d be added to a three-year waiting list,” he says. “But the RAF Association arranged for me to receive counselling within three months of me calling.”

Warren was also referred to our RAF Association Connections for Life service, and now has regular calls with one of our trained volunteers. “Tony – my Connections for Life volunteer – calls me up every fortnight and whether it be a chat about the weather, or the football scores at the weekend, he’s a lifeline,” he says.

Unfortunately, like so many people in the RAF community, the cost-of-living crisis is having an incredibly worrying impact for Warren and his family. With two children who stay with him at the weekends, Warren has been forced to turn to foodbanks to make sure that there’s food on the table.

“We’ve had to swallow our pride and ask for help,” Warren says. “Even if we can’t eat breakfast and lunch, we make sure we have one meal – no matter how small that is.”

Looking to the future worries Warren. “Where does the tunnel end?” he asks. “As far as I’m concerned, people are either going to freeze or starve to death. Within our household, there’s no disposable income. Our food money is going on heating now – it’s a vicious circle we’re in.”

Warren finds comfort in knowing that the RAF Association casework team will continue to support his family in the months to come. Before he reached out, he says, “it felt as though reaching out to local establishments, nobody wanted to talk. But the RAF Association are willing to talk, willing to help and always there.”

To protect Warren’s identity, we have not used photos of him.

Warren says of the support he received,

“Absolutely outstanding. It’s made me able to manage my condition and made my family feel counted.”

Every donation will ensure no one in the RAF community goes hungry or without the essentials they desperately need.

With your help we can provide emergency support and be there for members of the RAF community, no matter what challenges they face this winter.

Do you need support through the cost of living crisis?

We are here to ensure that no member of the RAF community is left feeling cold, hungry, or lonely. If these are problems you are facing, you are not facing them alone. We’re here for you.