RAFA Amsterdam have donated €10,000 to help support the ongoing work at Princess Marina House, the RAF Benevolent Fund’s West Sussex respite and care centre.
Princess Marina House provides support for veterans and serving members of the Royal Air Force and their families. As well as respite breaks, Princess Marina House offers a Respite at Home service for guests in the local area, plus a daily Lunch Club.
In March, the RAF Benevolent Fund made the difficult decision to close Princess Marina House following Government advice on social distancing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since closing, staff have been doing bag drops of vital provisions in the local area for vulnerable members of the RAF Family. They are also making regular check-in calls to Respite at Home users to ensure they're okay and to identify any further needs.
To mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day, staff and volunteers delivered boxes of essential items such as canned and dried foods, soap, and toilet roll as well as some party extras including party hats, mini flags, napkins, chocolates, and tea, to 100 local guests.
The recipients included RAFA Amsterdam Chairman Malcolm Mason’s 93-year-old brother-in-law, who is an RAF veteran.
Malcolm said: “My sister and brother-in-law were very surprised and extremely pleased with the kind gesture. In the package were not only goodies, but also letters written by RAF Air Cadets from a Chichester Squadron.”
Malcolm joined the RAF as an apprentice at RAF Halton and later served at Bruggen, Leeming and Warboys before leaving the Royal Air Force. He became a member of the RAF Association after discovering its Amsterdam branch when the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight visited Holland in 1980. Malcolm soon began volunteering and the following year joined the committee, and in 1997 he was elected Chairman.
He is also a Vice-President of the RAFA European Area Council and was a stand-alone case worker for SSAFA for 35 years. He was appointed MBE on 31st December 1998 for his services to the RAF Association in The Netherlands.