ROYAL Air Force veterans facing loneliness or isolation in Wirral are being urged to join the RAF Association's befriending service.

Research shows isolation is an issue that is likely to affect some 170,000 veterans, with 85,000 coping with feelings of loneliness.

The RAF Association's befriending service, running across the UK, pairs volunteers with members of the RAF family in need of company.

Rory O'Connor, the association's director of welfare and policy, said: "The befriending service alleviates loneliness and isolation by providing an opportunity for members of the RAF family and volunteers to forge enjoyable new friendships based on shared interests.

"The befriender will provide companionship and support to a member of the RAF family to ensure that they remain part of the community and feel socially connected to the wider RAF family.

"We recognise that loneliness and isolation are having a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of an increasing number of the RAF family.

"Tragically, in the past 12 months there have been many instances when cases of loneliness have been brought to our attention too late.

"The first we knew of them was when we were approached for help in ensuring that these brave individuals were not buried without people there to honour their lives.

"There are thousands more in the same situation that we want to support."

If you, or someone you know could benefit from being befriended, call 0800 018 2361 or visit

For more information on the work of the RAF Association, visit