News

RAF Association launches search for 100th Flying Scholar

The RAF Association is opening its Flying Scholarship awards for the eighteenth year to grant six exceptional young people the chance to fly.

So far, 99 air cadets have benefited from the programme, with the 100th cadet due to be among the 2018 finalists. The best of the 2018 applicants will be rewarded with a course of 35 hours flight training in a light aircraft. Five ‘runners-up’ will receive 12 hours training each. The Flying Scholarship programme runs annually as a thank you from the RAF Association to members of the RAF Air Cadets for their continuous support of the charity’s fundraising.

All of the 2017 winners achieved solo flights by the end of their week of training.

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RAF charity seeks fundraising volunteers to give its appeal wings

The Royal Air Forces Association is looking for volunteer fundraising team leaders and fundraisers to help fund its welfare work in specific areas in the UK.

“Forces personnel and their families sacrifice a normal family life to keep the rest of us safe,” says Katharine Montgomery, Volunteer Manager at the Association. “And we believe that we owe them a debt of gratitude once they have served. We are a welfare charity that focuses on providing practical and emotional help for service personnel and their partners and dependents. We are setting up brand new fundraising teams – looking for people who are passionate about raising money to fund our welfare support for the veterans and serving men and women in the Royal Air Force.”

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Charity wi-fi project reduces isolation for RAF personnel

A third of serving RAF personnel can now benefit from free communal wi-fi provided by the RAF Association. The charity has made a £1.2million investment to keep serving airmen and women connected to their friends and loved ones and it is proving a huge success. Studies show that workplace loneliness leads to poorer performances in tasks and lesser contributions to team roles[1]. The ability to stay connected digitally helps to avoid some of those issues for people stationed away from home.

16 RAF stations and more than 11,000 personnel can now benefit from the free wi-fi. The project came about when the Association was told of the social isolation that many new recruits feel on commencing their service life. Security considerations often prevent access to military wi-fi for personal use and the cost of extra infrastructure to reach the more remote RAF bases is usually prohibitive.

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‘Colour Chaos’ participants race to save bedtime for Forces Children

On 20 August more than 200 runners took part in the first ‘Colour Chaos’ run ever to be organised on an active RAF station. The unique family challenge, which was raising vital funds for the RAF Association, was held at RAF Wittering on the Lincolnshire/Cambridgeshire border.

The race took place entirely within the RAF station, and participants – who could choose to run, jog, dance or walk – were plastered in powder paint as they complete each kilometre of the circuit. Course highlights included passing the wood where Harriers used to take off and land, a Harrier and military vehicles parked along the route, and a turn round the compass swing (where aircraft compasses are calibrated).

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Rotary joins forces with the RAF Association in pilot to befriend veterans

Lonely RAF veterans will benefit this August when seven Rotarians from North Wales and parts of North West England complete their befriending training with the Royal Air Forces Association. With more than half of the UK Armed Forces veteran population aged 75 or over, relationship/isolation issues affect approximately 170,000 RAF veterans, with 85,000 of them specifically experiencing loneliness. The RAF Association is introducing the new befriending service across the UK to provide much-needed support and companionship to these thousands of RAF veterans.

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New leadership for Royal Air Forces Association

Air Marshal Sir Baz North replaces Air Marshal Sir Dusty Miller as President – as the Association experiences big growth in membership and also in calls for welfare assistance

The Royal Air Forces (RAF) Association today announces the appointment of Air Marshal Sir Baz North as its new President, replacing Air Marshal Sir Dusty Miller.

In his new role, Sir Baz will join the charity’s board of trustees and play a key role in ensuring the Association continues to provide world-class support to the RAF family.

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Queen’s Birthday Honours – local man recognised for international contribution to RAF Association’s charity work

Barry Furness, of Fareham, Hampshire, has been awarded a British Empire Medal in the 2017 Queen’s Birthday Honours awards in recognition of his work for the Royal Air Forces Association –the charity that provides welfare support to the RAF family.

Nick Bunting, Secretary General of the Association said, “Since 1974, Barry has worked ceaselessly to promote the aims of the Royal Air Forces Association and in doing so has reached a huge variety of people. His remarkable drive, infectious enthusiasm and strong leadership, in posts from the bottom to the top of the Association, have inspired those he has reached and greatly strengthened support for the Association, locally and nationally and abroad.”

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RAF Association hosts annual remembrance service at the National Memorial Arboretum

Beloved members of the RAF who have given their lives for their country were remembered by relatives and friends on Friday 16 June 2017 when The Royal Air Forces Association held its annual remembrance service.

The ceremony at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire gave around 300 family members, friends and colleagues the opportunity to commemorate the lives of relatives and ancestors who lost their lives, some of whom have no grave or last resting place.

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RAF Association opens new community hub in the heart of Preston – and presents WWII veteran with his medals during the opening ceremony

A WWII veteran was finally presented with medals he earned from the campaign, 72 years after leaving the RAF. The medal ceremony for Albert Pemberton-Sheen formed part of the formal launch of the RAF Association’s new Wings Centre, on Fishergate, Preston, on Tuesday 6 June 2017. As well as Albert, guests of honour included the mayor of Preston and the secretary general of the Royal Air Forces Association.

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