Each year the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund spends millions of pounds helping members of the RAF family; a feat which would not be possible without the help of thousands of supporters.
In appreciation, the RAF Benevolent Fund paused yesterday evening to thank its outstanding donors and volunteers at an awards ceremony held at the Victory Services Club in London and sponsored by Lockheed Martin UK.
The recipients were joined at the event by Air Chief Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford and Lady Pulford.
This is the third year that the RAF Benevolent Fund has recognised the remarkable contributions made by a few of the dedicated individuals, stations, and corporate partners who support the charity each year.
The recipients ranged from a team of Military Provost Guard Service personnel who fundraised at Stations across the UK to world-leading watch designer Casio who developed a G-Shock collaboration watch and Station of the Year RAF Marham.
All have demonstrated tremendous commitment to helping the RAF Benevolent Fund in its mission of supporting members of the RAF family in their time of need.
Mike Neville, Director of Fundraising at the RAF Benevolent Fund, said: "Supporters and fundraisers are vital to the work the RAF Benevolent Fund does. Without them we simply could not fulfil our pledge to help members of the RAF community overcome many different challenges.
"It was difficult to choose just nine recipients to be recognised as the Fund is so appreciative of the efforts of all our fundraisers and volunteers. We are indebted to all of our amazing supporters, and our award winners in particular, for their hard work and effort on behalf of the charity."
The winners were:
- Marilyn ‘Lyn’ Addison, SSAFA welfare caseworker, won the Welfare Caseworker of the Year Award. A day after retiring from her teaching job Lyn volunteered to become a caseworker for SSAFA East in Shropshire. Lyn takes all her beneficiaries to heart, professionally preparing reports and identifying their needs so the RAF Benevolent Fund is able to provide the right support.
- Lisa Bailey won the Airplay Youth Worker of the Year Award. Airplay provides a structured programme of activities and support for children and young people living on or near RAF Stations. Last year Lisa organised and led an impressive programme of activities for the young people including a visit to World War One battlefields in France, holding a World War Two-era tea dance and a trip to the poppy installation at the Tower of London. Funded by the charity, the Youth Centre opens three times a week, offering social and leisure activities as well as accredited programmes and trips.
- Casio received an award for Best Cause-Related Marketing. Casio raised more than £10,000 for the Fund’s welfare programmes with sales of the G-Shock RAF Collaboration watch. The watch bears the RAF logo and was designed in consultation with RAF pilots. It is inspired by the durable and versatile Chinook helicopter.
- The award for Most Innovative Support - Corporate Fundraising went to eBay for Charity for their support throughout 2014. Shoppers were encouraged to support the Fund in a variety of creative ways raising more than £50,000 in total. Shoppers could give directly at checkout or donate a percentage of their sales, as well as bid on a selection of unique auctions held to commemorate the anniversaries of D-Day and the Great Escape.
- The award for Outstanding Corporate Social Responsibility went to Disney. Disney teamed up with the RAF Benevolent Fund to provide hundreds of RAF families the chance to attend a special screening of 'Planes 2: Fire & Rescue'. Filmgoers were treated to special activity packs and a red carpet was rolled out for a showing in London. As well as supporting the advance screening, Disney donated £15,000 to the Fund’s work.
- Former RAF Regiment Gunner Kevin Ogilvie and his wife Amie won the 'Above and Beyond' Award for their incredible support of the charity. Kevin was paralysed by an IED in Afghanistan and helped by the charity during his recovery. He, Amie, and the extended Ogilvie family have undertaken an incredible fundraising effort to thank the RAF Benevolent Fund for its support during those difficult times. To date, they've raised more than £9,000 for the charity with a gala dinner, bungee jumps, bucket collections, and a half-marathon. Their 18-month fundraising effort will culminate with a family skydive on 26 April.
- 47 (F) Squadron Grantham Air Training Corps scooped the award for ATC Squadron of the Year. The air cadets of 47 (F) Squadron have generously donated their time and energy to help the RAF Benevolent Fund at a number of events over recent years. Whenever and whatever they have been asked, the cadets at 47 (F) Squadron are always happy to help.
- The Volunteer Fundraising Team of the Year award went to the Military Provost Guard Service team, who are part of No.7 Squadron RAF Police. The team includes 36 personnel at five different RAF Stations who worked together to raise £22,000, split between the Fund and ABF the Soldier’s Charity. Their fundraising culminated in a 102-mile run along the Cotswold Way.
- The RAF Station of the Year Award was presented to RAF Marham. As well as overcoming the challenges of several overseas deployments, personnel and families at the Station were determined to raise a substantial sum for the Fund. Their inclusive approach to fundraising saw the whole RAF family involved, including civilian staff and the surrounding community, to raise more than £11,000.