A third welfare house has been opened at RAF Benson, extending the facilities available to our personnel and families.
The welfare houses are fully furnished, two-bedroom properties located in the heart of the community on the domestic site. With RAF Benson being in a relatively expensive area in the UK, being able to hire the welfare houses at a reduced cost allows personnel to have contact with their children and extended family, which is particularly beneficial during deployments.
The welfare houses are available for personnel to hire all year round, with those with welfare needs taking priority. Over the past 12 months, the existing two houses have been occupied almost every day, supporting hundreds of personnel and families. The third welfare house, which was supported by the RAF Association and has been named Bartlett House, allows the Station to provide support to hundreds more families every year.
With personnel often living hundreds of miles away from their support networks, the welfare houses help to bring families together. Paula, a single parent, hired one of the welfare houses for her and her son ahead of their posting to Benson so they could visit schools in the area. She explained:
“The houses are great! They’re modern, accessible and reasonably priced and are a fantastic asset for the Station. It really helped us when we were moving here to be able to stay in a welfare house while we were looking at local schools.”
Ailsa Gough, the Area Director of the RAF Association, formally handed over the keys to the third welfare house, named Bartlett House, to the Station Commander, Group Captain Adam Wardrope. Adam said:
“We are delighted to open a third welfare house at RAF Benson. With personnel currently committed to operations around the world, it’s essential that we can provide support to them and their families. The welfare houses are a fantastic facility and help hundreds of personnel every year, from enabling parents to have contact with their children in a homely environment to accommodating the support network needed by our families during deployments. We are extremely grateful to the RAF Association for helping us to extend these popular facilities to provide welfare support to even more personnel. I would also like to pay tribute to our MT section who manage and facilitate the houses in their spare time.”