AN 81-year-old man from Basingstoke has been shortlisted for a national award after helping to support serving and former members of the RAF.

Pip Iles has been shortlisted in the ‘Welfare Caseworker of the Year’ category of the RAF Benevolent Fund’s annual awards.

The award recognises welfare caseworkers who have gone the extra mile for the RAF Benevolent Fund’s veterans and their families.

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Pip, 81, has been the Honorary Welfare Officer at RAF Association (RAFA) Basingstoke for well over his decade. He was nominated for the award because of his dedication helping both the Fund and RAFA manage requests for welfare support in the local community.

Pip said: “It is an absolute privilege and very humbling to be shortlisted for the RAF Benevolent Fund Welfare Caseworker of the Year Award. I do the work because I enjoy helping others and have never sought any reward or gain. It is satisfaction enough to receive the grateful thanks of clients and the colleagues I work with.”

During the pandemic, Pip worked tirelessly in ensuring that RAF veterans in the local community were not overlooked, and were able to seek welfare support either through local charitable efforts or through the auspices of RAF Charities. As well as supporting the veteran community, Pip has also played a significant role in the welfare support of two churches in the Basingstoke community, and has previously been recognised by the council for its annual welfare support award.

Paul Hughesdon, director of welfare and policy at the RAF Benevolent Fund, said: “2021 was another difficult year for many in our community, but the impact of ongoing lockdown restrictions and social distancing measures were particularly tough on older, vulnerable, or isolated members of the RAF Family.

“We continued to adapt our welfare provision to ensure their needs were being met as best we could, but this wouldn’t have been possible without the generosity of caseworkers like Pip who go the extra mile to support our mission. They do a fantastic job and with the Fund’s staff, work hard to ensure that we meet as many needs as possible.”

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The RAF Benevolent Fund Awards is now in its 10th year, celebrating the outstanding contributions of the fundraisers, volunteers and partners who support the charity. The 2022 awards will take place on Thursday, June 9 at Plaisterers’ Hall in London.

The RAF Benevolent Fund is the RAF’s leading welfare charity, providing practical, financial, and emotional support to RAF personnel, veterans, and their partners and dependants.

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