April 22nd 2020


Photo of lonely older man by RAF Association

Veterans are particularly at risk of isolation

The Royal Air Force Association (RAFA) have launched Operation CONNECT to help combat isolation and loneliness amongst their membership during the lockdown due to Coronavirus.

Operation CONNECT was launched by the RAF Association in response to the Coronavirus lockdown. It brings together several strands of activity, and includes the following:

  • Project Outreach – A telephone outreach service:  contacting vulnerable individuals by telephone to check on their welfare. They offer an ongoing telephone friendship from a regular volunteer and alert them to other support services. So far, over 18,000 have received a phone call.
  • Project Helpline – A friendship helpline (0800 018 2361): for anyone in the RAF community to call if they are feeling isolated.  If they are in need of more specific support or simply want a chat, they can find someone friendly who understands.
  • Woman speaking to Operation HELPLINE

    Operation HELPLINE offers support

    Project Bag Drop – Providing vital provisions to the doorsteps of the most vulnerable members of the RAF community.

  • Project Entertain – A daily online entertainment programme giving much-needed routine and happiness for anyone who is isolated.  There have already been 135,000 views on-line of the sing-along sessions provided.
  • Since the crisis began, RAFA have recruited over 350 volunteers to help with their efforts to telephone the 30,000 members of the RAF community, many of whom are shielding or self-isolating.
  • The RAF Association exists to support it’s members, be they serving Airmen, Veterans, Reserves or families of the RAF.   For further information on how to get involved with Operation CONNECT, offer help or donate, visit RAFA.

    "We are acutely conscious that many RAF veterans and their loved ones are particularly vulnerable during these difficult times," Air Marshal Sir Baz North, President RAFA .