• Airplay Youth Suuport - Making a real difference to children and young people from RAF families main photo

    The Airplay Youth Support report was compiled by 4Children following extensive interviews with young people growing up in RAF families. It explores some of the challenges which are unique to children with serving parents.


    Download the Airplay Youth Support report

  • Useful Links


    Airplay  support programme for children and young people growing up on RAF stations.


    RAF Benevolent Fund - support for RAF workers partners and children.

    RAF Communtiy Support - informing RAF members of their entitlements and policy matters.


    RAF Families Federation  - representing the views and concerns of RAF personnel and their family members on the issues that affect them as part of a RAF family.

Airplay Youth Support

Airplay is the RAF Benevolent Fund's £24 million support programme for RAF children and young people aged 0 to 18, operating at 23 RAF bases across the UK.

Airplay consists of three elements:

  • A network of trained youth workers
  • The provision of Airplay parks for 5 to 18 year olds
  • Childcare centres for the under 5s

As part of its Airplay programme, the RAF Benevolent Fund has commissioned 4Children to provide trained youth workers at 23 RAF stations; this Airplay Youth Support work began in July 2010.

Airplay youth workers are working in partnership with RAF Community Development staff to deliver a structured programme of activities. The initiative is designed to help relieve some of the pressure on highly stretched RAF families. RAF children face particular challenges – parents can be deployed overseas for long periods at short notice and bases are often located in isolated rural areas. This nationwide programme will provide vital continuity to young people relocating from one station to another.

Activities provided through the Airplay programme aim to stimulate and nurture children’s aspiration, ambition and resilience and provide vital support and reassurance to families. Read more about the Airplay programme in action in the Airplay Youth Support report and the Airplay case studies. The project is the first of its kind for young people in the service community.

Over the first year Airplay Youth Support has reached 1,900 children and young people and increased the number of youth work sessions being delivered by 80%.

As part of its Airplay programme, the RAF Benevolent Fund has commissioned 4Children to provide trained youth workers at 25 RAF stations; this Airplay Youth Support work began in July 2010. Find Airplay Youth Support locations through our searchable map.

Airplay Newsletter

Read the current issue and past issues of  Airplay Youth Support Newsletter and find out more about the activities deivered on all 23 RAF bases across the country.


What people say about Airplay Youth Support

“I think Airplay’s a great way to interact and make new friends. Airplay also provides great new activities for us. For example, when Dad was away last year and Mum couldn’t drive, Airplay provided some good activities that we could do to keep us busy. Airplay also gives us lots of things to do like craft activities and money to get the stuff.”

Young person, aged 16

“It helps you to settle down if you move a lot because a lot of people find it hard to make friends and find something to do.”

Young person, aged 14

“It’s a youth club and something to do instead of just sitting in the house playing computer games and being bored – the activities are really fun. It also helps people settle in if they’ve moved from a different country or different town.”

Young person, aged 14

“Airplay has provided a strong connection within the station and the young people. There is a real sense of community and support evident with young people supporting each other when parents are being posted or relocated within the RAF.”

4Children station youth worker

“Airplay provides bespoke support to RAF young people which is much appreciated by families and Service personnel. It provides an immediate source of company and friendship as young people move up to the area and it provides a consistency of support whilst a parent is deployed which also means personnel can be more effective in theatre."

“Further, the manner in which Airplay is run and communicates with parents reflects the busy operational ethos of the Unit creating comfort and familiarity.”

Community Development Officer