Connections for Life: Fighting loneliness with friendship

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Fighting loneliness with friendship

Loneliness affects tens of thousands of people across the RAF community. Whether it’s a veteran struggling to adapt to life after service, or a family member facing difficulties alone, loneliness can be devastating to people’s mental and physical wellbeing.

The RAF Association’s Connections for Life service aims to fight loneliness with friendship and create a resilient, empowered and connected RAF Community.

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Photo of an elderly man representing Ray talking on a mobile phone in his home
Everyone has a story
But not everyone has someone to hear it

The RAF Association’s Connections for Life volunteers are at the heart of the service as they provide one-to-one, personalised conversation, vital friendship and support via telephone and other initiatives.

The positive impact our volunteers have on the RAF community is huge and can be seen through the wonderful responses from our beneficiaries.

Read about Ray’s story, a connections for life beneficiary. To sign up to help more people like Ray, click the button below.

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A friend when you’re feeling alone

In the RAF, we’ve always looked out for our own – that’s something that will never change. Now through Connections for Life, we can make certain that no one in the RAF community ever feels alone or left behind.

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Ensure we can offer practical and emotional help

In one year we reduce loneliness and isolation thanks to our volunteers making over 100,000 friendship and welfare check calls to people in need of our help.

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Help us reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness

Loneliness is linked to serious health risks like cardiovascular disease. With more people feeling isolated, our friendship services are needed more than ever.

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Protect family bonds for those who are serving

We look out for the welfare of serving personnel’s families, whether a family member is lonely, facing hardship or is suffering from dementia.

Feeling lonely or isolated? If you think the Connections for Life service might be able to support you or someone you know, click the button below to find out more about how we can help.

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Current volunteer roles

Find out more about our Connections for Life volunteer roles below.

  • Penpal Friendship Service

    Penpal Friendship Service

    Location: Remote

    Please note, we’ve had such a positive response for volunteering for the penpal service, that we currently have no vacancies for this role and are now offering a waiting list for penpal volunteers to be matched with penpal beneficiaries. If you don’t want to wait please register to volunteer for the telephone friendship service which we still hold vacancies for, and where beneficiaries are waiting for your call.

    Click the button below to read more about the pen pal service.

    View role
  • Telephone Friendship Service

    Telephone Friendship Service

    Location: Remote

    This volunteer role would involve contacting a beneficiary over the phone on a regular basis. Calls can be made at your convenience, be as regular as you are able to commit to and can fit around your existing commitments. As a volunteer you will be providing a vital link for someone who is lonely and isolated.

    Click the button below to read more about the telephone friendship service.

    View role
  • Friendship changes lives

    “I wish to thank my volunteer for her kindness. In recent weeks she has provided a lifeline to me. We have amazing conversations, from garden sheds to my old times at Brize Norton. She is a joy to the ear.”

    Mrs. C

    Connections for Life beneficiary

  • Friendship changes lives

    “I wish to thank my volunteer for her kindness. In recent weeks she has provided a lifeline to me. We have amazing conversations, from garden sheds to my old times at Brize Norton. She is a joy to the ear.”

    Mrs. C

    Connections for Life beneficiary