Why is it so hard to volunteer!

Finding so hard to volunteer to the Corps, no scrub that practically impossible to get to even have an initial meeting/ look around a squadron.
To put this into context I’m very very close to the border of two wings, with two active squadrons around 20mins away from my home.
Have completed the online interest forms on the website for both over three months ago and still no response.
Took matters in to my own hands rang one of the Wing HQ’s and got squadron info contact number and CO’s name, after calling on parade night still no follow up.
Other Wing wouldn’t give any contact info for the squadron and advised someOne would call after taking my mobile number, still waiting after another 4 weeks.
Being ex RAF and wanting to give back this is beyond painful, this must be effecting the intake of volunteers, or is it just I’m in between to wings that don’t need the staff?


Welcome to the RAFAC :roll_eyes:

Unfortunately, this seems to be a problem in many places.

My suggestion would be to email the OC and Adj for the two squadrons directly. The email addresses are of the form
oc.<squadron number>@rafac.mod.gov.uk and adj.<squadron number>@rafac.mod.gov.uk.

With any luck, that’ll get you in touch with them directly.

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Thanks for that will get an email over to both, I have to add that it’s not just RAFAC, a close friend who’s ex para is currently in the process of volunteering at his local DET which has taken just over 24 months.

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Same happened with me. No response from wing. Ended up going to my local squadron on a parade night and asking to speak to the OC. Took it from there.


Do this.


I had similar, tried via RAF website, filling in forms at an air show and visiting local Sqn.

Ended up at the next nearest Sqn because a mutual contact made a personal intro.

From the other side of the fence, I’ve had a small trickle of potential volunteer queries which I reply to but never hear back…

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Really shouldn’t get to that point to be honest but if it works it works.

Email worked, see what happens next week after visit


Not sure how it works elsewhere, but here our wing just forwards the interested party’s details to the OC for them to deal with anyhow.

Can’t disagree with OP here at all. Took me 6 months to get on the books as an SI who already had DBS, BPSS, SC, JPA, etc. Transfer to CFAV was dead easy though.
Recruiting new volunteers is very difficult. Hard to convince a parent with 0 experience that jumping through all the hoops is worth it. It’s hard enough sorting 18+ paperwork out!
Many think it is a bit like chaperoning a school trip, which is fair enough. Very daunting though especially for many of the cadets parents who are 1st gen immigrants to the UK

This is the worst sorry story I have heard. The main HQAC website sends details to the Wing representative and not the Squadron (cadet enquiries go direct) so it sounds like that is not working or the individuals concerned may not be looking or they have forwarded on and the OCs don’t sort.

I had a similar experience when I was at Honington for six months. I was living in the Mess during the week and only going home at weekends, so I had loads of time on my hands in the evenings. I offered my services to the local wing as an SI and they acknowledged and said the local Sqn Cdr would be in touch. Nothing further heard.

My current unit were much more proactive. I marched with them on Remembrance Sunday and they invited me to their next dinner, sitting me near the Adj so they could recruit me.


Didn’t know you dabbled, Bomber!

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It was a close thing. My initial reaction to being asked was to say I don’t have any time, due to councillor, school governor, Air Scout group chairman duties, etc. However, once the idea was in there I started actively reducing these other commitments to make time for it. (That’s an ongoing process!)

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Little update. Got in to see the CO of one of the Sqn’s. Reminded me of my first sit down interview with an officer at the RAF recruitment office in Preston when I joined up.

All very positive and a very active, busy Sqn with lots going on, definitely feel I could bring something to the Sqn and cadets. At the end of the interview/ chat CO asks if interested and yes is answer. Ok need to get the ball rolling certain stuff I can do separately Prevent Training on Gov.uk and some stuff needs to come from Wing, invite to join email etc.
Prevent Training done Friday morning, three weeks on still waiting for the invite email, keeping in contact with CO but nothing from Wing and yes have checked spam and junk folders in case it dropped in there.

Can I ask what’s is the actual timescale to getting DBS, Security checked to allow me to get into the Sqn.


Have you gone through the RAFAC Join process? Or are you waiting on that?

Essentially once that’s filled in you become an ‘applicant’ on the system. This then means you can do the online training. It should also then be the trigger for WHQ to send out a eDBS link.

Not filled in that form, it could be this that was being sent in the email. Will ping CO message about this form or will complicate/delay the application?

I don’t see any harm in just filling it out, but it might confuse some people! Maybe a quick polite email to the CO asking if they want the form filled in. The answer should be yes…

Same page, just pinged a message over to them will wait for the reply.

Any idea on the timescales?

Never realised you can link directly to JOIN! Thought it had to be generated by the system. Game changer