Why join

Why join RAFA Rides

RAFA Rides joins the RAF community and supporters together with one ambition: to support the RAF family.

Since our first event back in 2018, thousands of riders have joined our global cycling community. From those who joined the inaugural ride in the heart of the Leicestershire countryside, to the teams who have taken part virtually in Australia, USA, New Zealand, the Middle East and Europe, each of our RAFA Riders has helped make this an incredible community event.

RAFA Rides is a chance for you to challenge yourself, to create unique memories and make friends for life, all while showing your support for the RAF community.

By taking part in RAFA Rides you will be supporting the work of the RAF Association. For over 90 years we have provided much-needed help and support to millions in the RAF community and we are working tirelessly to help them feel connected to the RAF and equip them with the tools they need to live dignified, fulfilled and independent lives.

It’s more than just a ride. It’s your chance to be part of something special.

Below are some headline figures on why you should join us for RAFA Rides 2023:

85,000

People were supported by our welfare services last year.

26,500

Separated family members stayed in the ‘homes from home’ we refurbish.

531

People found support last year through our ‘Finding it Tough?’ training courses, improving their mental wellbeing.

1,100

Expert case workers and Connections for Life volunteers reach out to those in need, making over 100,000 outreach calls a year.

Why join: Stevie’s story

There are many reasons to join RAFA Rides. You can do it to challenge yourself. You can do it to connect with the wider RAF community. You can do it to raise money for the cause you love. You can do it for the fun of riding. For Warrant Officer Stevie Joy, taking part in RAFA Rides last year boosted his mental wellbeing and helped him deal with the death of his father, a proud member of the RAF Association who died in 2020 after contracting COVID-19.

Stevie says:

“My mental wellbeing really suffered in 2020, despite the amazing support of my family. I was spiralling, full of self-pity, withdrawing from others and not looking after my health. I was mindlessly scrolling through Facebook in the New Year of 2021, when an advert for RAFA Rides caught my eye.

“I realised I needed to take control again and this was the perfect way to get that process started. I signed up there and then. The first time out on my bike felt like flicking a switch – I instantly felt better. As the weeks and months went on, I started connecting with friends again and I had a focus. RAFA Rides was the perfect event, as it involves cycling, which I love, but also feels like I’m doing something for Dad and a cause he loved.”

Read Stevie’s full story on why he joined RAFA Rides here.