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100th air cadet set to fly for RAF’s centenary year thanks to the RAF Association

The RAF Association is preparing to send its 100th air cadet flying, with its 2018 Flying Scholarship programme. Coinciding with the RAF centenary year, six air-minded youths will be awarded flight training including the 100th recipient of the Flying Scholarship. However, cadets’ keen to apply must hurry, the closing date for all entries is 31 January 2018.

Through the scholarship programme, air cadets are given the opportunity to take to the skies, with one air cadet awarded 35 hours flight training in a light aircraft. Five runners-up will each receive 12 hours.

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RAF Association Hotel Manager shortlisted for national award

RAF Association Hotel Manager Colin Lee was shortlisted for a national Leadership Award from the 3rd Sector Care Awards. The award celebrates someone who demonstrates an outstanding contribution to care and service excellence.

Mark Shields, RAF Association Head of Care and Housing Services nominated Colin for the award. After seeing the level of support and team spirit at the Association’s Wings Breaks hotel Rothbury House, Northumberland he said of the nomination: “Colin was nominated for the Award because of his total commitment to care and outstanding leadership that has significantly contributed to excellence within a culture that puts people and quality first.

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Former RAF serviceman scoops rollover draw

A former RAF serviceman from Cumbria has won £9,750 on the RAF Association’s Wings Lotto rollover. 84 year-old Mr Byers joined the RAF in 1951, aged just 18, and served for four years in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). He has been an Association member for 33 years and a Wings Lotto player since it started nine years ago.

Speaking of what it felt like to win the money, Mr Byers said: “It was a dream. When I was called up to be told I had won, I thought it was a con. I have been entering the Wings Lotto for many years, but never thought I would actually win – but you know what they say, you have to be in it to win it!”

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RAF Association membership supports those who protect us

The RAF Association will join millions across the UK this Remembrance Sunday in honouring those who have served and still serve in the Armed Forces.

Those individuals put their lives on the line to protect all of us, but sadly, all too often, they need a little help themselves. The RAF Association does what it can to assist those that serve, veterans and their dependants through practical, emotional and financial support.

The RAF Association’s members and volunteers are supporting veterans all year round. People like Albert, who they helped apply for medals he was entitled to, or Ken, who was aided through difficult times by his RAF Association welfare support volunteer.

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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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The Service Charity Sector and the coronavirus outbreak

For the latest information and guidance on the Service Charity Sector and the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, please click here