2014 was a busy year for the RAF Benevolent Fund. Here is a round up events, activities and fundraising that took place.
January: We brought you the story of 82-year-old Andy Brown who had raised over £4,000 for the RAF Benevolent Fund through a 'collecting can' contained in a deactivated bomb at a memorial in Braemar.
February: We celebrated RAF couples to mark Valentine's Day and brought you the lovely story Alan and Pat Parker who met when they both attended the RAF School of Music, and this year the couple celebrated their 47th wedding anniversary.
March: We commemorated the 70th anniversary of the Great Escape. We featured interviews with RAF veterans Charles Clarke and Jack Lyon who were prisoners at War II PoW camp Stalag Luft III at the time of the escape. We also held a special screening of the classic film of the same name. In our blog on 19 March, Jack Lyon told us about waiting in the queue to escape and the eventual discovery of the tunnel by the guards.
April: We celebrated 96 years of the Royal Air Force with RAF96. Across the UK supporters took part in various fundraising activities from sitting in baths of baked beans to organising collections at RAF stations. A big thank you to everyone who got involved and helped us raise vital funds for our work.
May: RAF chef Rich Hartley shared with us his experience of trekking to Machu Picchu to raise money for our work.
June: To mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day, we brought you an exclusive series of blogs featuring interviews with D-Day veterans. In an interview with former LAC Eric Reedman, he told us about the day his unit were shot at by enemy aircraft.
July: Sergeant Si Mudford from 2 MT Squadron told us all about the squadron's fundraising activities in aid of the RAF Benevolent Fund.
August: Some of our staff took part in the poppy planting at the Tower of London for its commemorative World War One installation. In total 888,246 poppies were planted, each one symbolising each British and Commonwealth soldier who lost their lives in the battle. It was a truly a remarkable site to behold and attracted well over eight million people before its removal in November.
September: We showed our support for former RAF personnel as they competed in the Invictus Games. The Games were incredibly inspiring and it was so brilliant seeing several people that have been supported by our charity triumph in their individual events. They included Mike Goody and Luke Wigman. In a blog before the Games, Luke Wigman shared with us his excitement at getting the chance to compete.
October: We brought you the story of the Green family who we'd bought a house for and adapted to make it easier for dad Steve to get around. Steve suffers from a spinal injury which had left him unable to bathe son Carlos at night and tuck him up in bed as he couldn't reach the first floor in their former home. We made their new house wheelchair accessible so now Carlos and sister Lucia can enjoy bedtime stories with their dad.
November: It was an exciting time for children at our Airplay programme at RAF Lossiemouth when they met Her Majesty The Queen when she paid a visit to the station.
December: We partnered with Disney and helped organise a series of special screenings at various RAF stations of their DVD Planes 2: Fire and Rescue.