10:30am Sunday 8th September 2013
By Gina Bebbington
NORTHWICH’S former airmen and women are celebrating the anniversary of a charity that took wing 70 years ago.
The Royal Air Forces Association was formed in 1943 and is now the largest single service charity in the UK.
Peter Young, from the Northwich branch of the RAF Association, said: “We want to use this opportunity to celebrate our birth and tell people about our existence.”
The association was formed from the merger of the Comrades of the Royal Air Forces Association and the Women’s Royal Air Force Old Comrades Association in 1943.
Welfare officers, employment officials and legal advisers were appointed by the association nationally and at branch level ready for demobilisation, which began in 1945, with officials invited to release centres to help to newly demobilised personnel.
Peter said: “The work of the RAF Association has stayed relevant and it continues to help those who have served for at least a day in the RAF from its beginnings through to the present day.
“The RAF Association currently helps any serving and ex-serving RAF personnel and their families in times of need.”
The association, which is not Government funded and relies on donations from members and supporters, offers a wide range of welfare support from home visits and respite care breaks to offering advice and financial assistance.
Peter said: “We are here to make sure that members of the RAF family past and present are never left feeling alone or in need.
“As we celebrate our 70th anniversary, the association must continue to adapt to an ever-changing world.
“The needs of our veterans, old and young, are constantly evolving and we must continue to serve them to the best of our ability.
“The association exists in the recognition that RAF personnel and their immediate families dedicate their lives to their country, and to ensure that such a sacrifice does not result in suffering, poverty or loneliness.”
• The RAF association will be holding a collection in Northwich town centre on Saturday, September 14.
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