Page 10 - issue08.03.2019
P. 10

Royal Air Force News Friday, March 8, 2019 P10


       RAFA revamp to boost welfare support

       Lawrence McGowan                The charity has launched a  employee and union consultation.
                                     consultation with employees  and  No decisions have yet been made.”  SERVICE REVIEW:
       PLANS TO  meet the growing  the  GMB union, on  proposals to   People with current bookings   Royal Air Force
       demand for welfare services from  restructure its welfare teams across  have been notified of the plan.  Association welfare
       veterans and serving personnel  England and Wales.             Last  year  the  Association  carried   director Rory O’Connor
       have been announced by the Royal   If implemented, the changes  out more than 115,000 welfare
       Air Forces Association.       would create fewer but larger  contacts, calls and visits, helped
         Proposals by the charity’s trustees,  regional offices, and move all  tell thousands of bedtime stories to
       described as ‘ambitious’ by welfare  branch welfare activity under  children whose parents were away on
       director Rory O’Connor, follow an  centralised  RAF  Association  operations, and gave tailored holidays
       extensive review and a major welfare  governance.            to  2,500  RAF  veterans  and  their
       survey of 74,000 members.       He said the restructuring  families at their Wings Breaks hotels.
         He told RAF News: “Demand for  programme  will    simplify   The charity is also heavily
       our  welfare  services  is  increasing  communications  and  improve  involved  in the  refurbishment
       and growing in complexity.    delivery of welfare services.  of RAF contact houses, used by
         “Ever-changing regulation and   The  Association  is  also  serving parents to spend time with
       legislation bring the problems into  consulting on  a proposal  to  close  their children, and the provision of
       sharp focus.                  one of its three Wings Breaks hotels,  Wi-Fi on RAF stations.
         “To fulfil our charitable vision  which provide subsidised holidays   It is also supporting serving
       we must be fit for the future. For  and respite breaks for RAF veterans  personnels’ mental health by
       this reason we are exploring where  and their families.      providing training to their partners
       our strengths lie and where we can   Rory said: “A review focusing  to help them recognise early
       make improvements.”           primarily on future  legislative  signs that there may be a need for
         He added: “Through a trustee  compliance  found  that  the  professional help.
       board-led initiative, a great deal  fundamental building structure of   Rory added: “Our charity is
       of time and expertise has been  Richard Peck House in Lytham St  going from strength to strength,
       invested in reviewing our welfare  Annes is reaching the limit of its  and we have to make decisions to
       delivery  and the effectiveness  ability to remain compliant.   ensure we can continue to support
       and regulatory compliance of our   “A proposal to close the hotel is  the RAF family as well as we
       respite hotels.”              now subject to the outcome of an  possibly can.”

       DEFENCE AGREEMENT                                            LGBT CAMPAIGN
                                                                    Boscombe marks diversity date

                                                                    George Hannaford

                                                                    THE BRITISH  military’s  first
                                                                    openly   transgender  officer
                                                                    joined members of the RAF’s
                                                                    campaigning Freedom Network
                                                                    to mark LGBT history month at
                                                                    Boscombe Down.
                                                                      Air Force navigator Flt Lt
                                                                    Caroline Paige became the first
       GULF ALLY: Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson signs agreement with Oman defence   transgender member of personnel
       minister His Excellency Sayyid Badr bin Saud bin Harib Al-Busaidi  to  serve  on  the  frontline,
       Oman Gulf security pledge                                    completing tours in Bosnia, Iraq
                                                                    and Afghanistan.
                                                                      She transitioned in 1999 and
                                                                    remained in service until
       Staff Reporter                significant reinforcement of our  retiring after 35 years in
                                     mutual security.               the RAF and has become
       THE UK and Oman have signed a new   “Gulf security is our security,  a  leading  figure  in  the
       Joint Defence Agreement to develop  and it is crucial that we expand our  Forces LGBT community.
       military cooperation and strengthen  horizons and become a truly global   More  than  100
       security in the Gulf region.  Britain after we leave the European  personnel  from  across
         The move follows the largest  Union.”                      defence  attended  the
       exercise by the UK’s military with   A new joint military training  conference  at  the
       5,500 troops travelling to Oman to  area will be established in the  Wiltshire military
       hone land, air and sea capabilities.   country later this year giving the  base.
         Speaking after signing  the  UK a permanent presence in the
       agreement  Defence  Secretary  country.                       PIONEER:
       Gavin Williamson said: “This is   The UK government will spend    Frontline helicopter
       an historic landmark moment  £3 billion across the Gulf over the   pilot Flt Lt Caroline
       between our two nations and is a  next 10 years, a spokesman said.  Paige at Boscombe

                        Duke praises MDS                                                                                                   ● Sport


                                     Battling blues fightback

                                          in Army showdown
   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15