Befriend a RAFA Veteran


Maybe something sqns could consider?


Interesting idea, but the question that comes to me is, where is where has been the RAF, these are after all people who served in the RAF.
A lot of RAFA members I’ve spoken don’t like the way after years of just nodding to them over the fence, the RAF suddenly wanted them to be part of the RAF Family, without giving anything extra, which is what the RAF did with us.

I would ask why aren’t the RAF and RAFA doing this? The RAF/RAFA will have people who will have knowledge of how to access to groups and organisations. Then there is the RBL, SAAFA, Age UK etc.

Where are their own families? I know people who live miles from their parents and see as dealing with them as they age, someone else’s problem and they just visit once in a blue moon.

I think that we should perhaps encourage people in the ATC to look out for their own elderly relatives. Our own parents are in their late 70s/80s and becoming increasingly dependent on us doing things for them.

There is a real danger that emotional ties and dependency could be created, which are difficult to break and even more so if illness and the ultimate happens.

I don’t like the list of so called benefits, which potentially are things people in the ATC could jump on for cadets.


Does it matter? We’re hardly going to be able to change RAF policy from here.

It’s a chance to do something nice for people who’ve done a lot for us, and clearly reflects several of the aims of the ATC.


I love the idea of this. Great project idea for the cadets to take the lead on.

They may even learn a thing or two!


Just something else on cadets why not another freebe to be added on to car parking duties at silly events. Parading when it suits the RAF etc. Will the Wing HQ or OC of Sqn carry out CRB checks prior to a cadet visiting any person. Will cadets need to work in pairs. Will they need a member of staff attend with them . I can just see problems with this . I think cadets do enough without this added on to them or sqns


I was thinking about the veterans coming down to the Sqn, not the cadets visiting the veterans at home.

Imagine getting a PIPE for a home visit… :roll_eyes:


Try getting in to a base in Northern Ireland all the pre checks to be done


What about our own families? I would sooner see cadets doing things for their own elderly relatives, than strangers regardless of who they are and what they may have done. We often don’t see enough oi these and regret it when they’ve gone.
We are quite close the local RAFA and RBL, but I’ve never considered cadets should do anything like this.

There are also the mundane things we need to do today, like H&S and then the age of visitors to homes etc, building a relationship with the individual, ensuring that families are OK with it, the cadets doing visits without a chaperone. Whichever way you look at it and regardless of how “nice” it would be, this is not a simple thing.
We tried to get cadets involved at a local home and hit all manner of barriers, one being staff would need to be there and the home wouldn’t even let them make tea etc as they wouldn’t be insured.


Perhaps that effect would occur through this anyway…


Do you really think that the sort of people who are going to volunteer for this are ignoring members of their own family?


No but they should prioritise their own family.

Plus as I said I would put money on if you tried home visits either personal or residential with cadets a member of staff would have to be present. The sort of people this refers to are those who live alone or in a home. Also as I said there is the dependence that the older person could develop on visits.


Who says this has to be done as an ATC activity? It’s something we can introduce to cadets, and would I’m sure count towards DEAS.


I’m not convinced due to the emotional burden it could place on them, ie they visit someone get really attached and they die, or, they start to visit something changes and they can’t do it anymore.


Dear God I hope you never need to rely on external support in your old age…

“I don’t want a carer, they should focus on their family”
“no I don’t want to visit a youth group and regale about ‘back in the day’, they’ve got their own cantankerous wrinklies”

Why can you never see the positives in life?


I think it will teach our cadets some empathy if nothing else. I believe this lacks greatly in our society today.


I’m sure it will easily cover the voluntary sections of DofE also.


It’s not a negative it’s looking at it realistically and considering the very real side of it.
My parents and in-laws are in the age bracket that this applies to and I’m not too convinced I’d want any other than proper trained etc workers, along with family, friends and neighbours visiting and doing things for, them

I think the image is of someone visiting someone in a nice little house, where the reality is likely to be very different. My mother in law spent 2 weeks in a home after a hospital stay, the visits were not something I’d want to repeat in a hurry and not something I’d suggest to a youngster, unless it was their relative.

RAFA, RAF and others will have trained skilled people to do this.

It might well suit DEA volunteering, but can you volunteer in the same place for more than one level doing exactly the same thing, without progression/development.


@Teflon As a community healthcare professional, I can totally understand your worry.

However, I also see the side where loneliness is as bad as the physical ailments I treat on a daily basis. I’m sure the cadets would not be subject to any bad conditions that say I see as a healthcare professional, I imagine there will be a strict criteria.


I would hope we’re not really talking about those in such dire circumstances in need of such intensive care.

I know of partnership schemes between toddler groups and schools and nursing homes. While it says that the role could involve visiting someone at home, there’s no reason why our organisation couldn’t contribute in a different way alongside and in the spirit of the befriender programme. I’m sure there would be options if you simply spoke to the local RAFA branch.


By that logic you definitely shouldn’t try and look after members of your own family, as their inevitable death will hit you much harder.

You really do manage some impressive mental aerobics in your unwavering crusade to disagree with every new idea…