Tom Cavalot, from Shrewsbury, picked up an award for his dedication to youth support at RAF Cosford at the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund's Award ceremony in London yesterday evening.
Tom is the Airplay Youth Worker at RAF Cosford and as part of the RAF Benevolent Fund’s Airplay programme works for the national charity 4Children, in partnership with RAF Community Development staff, to deliver a structured set of activities and support to the children and young people living on or near the station.
This is a unique programme in the Armed Forces and shows partnership at its best, delivering excellence for the serving RAF Family.
Participation in the RAF Cosford programme has grown in the three short years that Tom has been in charge from only a few young people attending to a membership of over 140 young people aged 8-18. The Youth Centre opens four times a week offering social and leisure activities as well as accredited programmes, residential opportunities and trips.
Paul Hughesdon, Director of Welfare and Policy, said: "Tom has made a huge difference for the children at RAF Cosford, developing a fun programme and involving the young people at every level, from what the youth centre looks like to the activities provided.
"His dedication and hard work have resulted in increased participation and a real enthusiasm for the Airplay programme on RAF Cosford. He has breathed new life into the Cosford Airplay project!"
Tom's good work has not gone unnoticed on Station, either. He was recently awarded a Station Commander’s Commendation for his excellent service.
On accepting the award, Tom said: "It is a fantastic honour to receive this award and I am so thankful to the RAF Benevolent Fund for the recognition, but also for its strong commitment to youth services.
"RAF children, like all children of Service families, face situations that their peers in the civilian world don’t: frequent moves, changing homes and schools, and the uncertainties of deployments. The RAF Benevolent Fund’s Airplay gives them continuity and additional support and it has been my pleasure to grow this programme at RAF Cosford."
Airplay is the first programme of its kind for young people in the Service community and is part of the RAF Benevolent Fund's twelve-year, £24 million support programme for children and young people of the RAF family aged between zero and 19 years, operating on all main RAF stations across the UK.
The award was sponsored by Clearbrook Group Plc and presented by Mr John Isabel, RAF Benevolent Fund Ambassador and Director of Clearbrook Group Plc.
This is the second year that the RAF Benevolent Fund has recognised the stand-out contributions made by a few of the dedicated individuals, stations, and corporate partners who support the charity each year.
The awards ceremony was held at the Royal Institute of British Architects in London.