On Sunday 2 April, thousands of fundraisers across the UK and around the world joined in the RAF Benevolent Fund's Great British Sunday Lunch.
Events were held in homes and pubs across the country as families and friends gathered together over the nation's much cherished Sunday lunch to raise funds for the RAF's leading welfare charity. Supporters also held Great British Sunday Lunch events in Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Malta, Cyprus, Belgium, France and the USA.
Backed by Dame Barbara Windsor, Amanda Redman, Sir David Jason, Sue Holderness and Carol Vorderman, the Great British Sunday Lunch was also supported by top chefs including the Hairy Bikers, Michel Roux Jnr, Tom Kitchin and Ken Hom, who provided meal ideas for the event.
Britain's oldest brewer Shepherd Neame and the much-loved family brewers Arkell's also supported the campaign by hosting special lunches in their pubs on the day.
A team from RAF Wittering's 3 Mobile Catering Squadron showcased their culinary talents by feeding over 200 people from a field kitchen at a special Great British Sunday Lunch event, held at nearby Kendrew Barracks.
Stuart Robinson, a former RAF Regiment gunner and gold medal winner at the Invictus Games, held a lunch at his home in Morecambe with the help of the local Midland Hotel’s head chef, Michael Wilson.
"I have been fortunate enough to have been supported by the RAF Benevolent Fund since sustaining life-changing injuries in 2013 and their help has enabled me to live a normal life as a husband and a father," Stuart said. "Having seen first-hand what a difference they make to both our veterans and those serving today, I'm proud to get involved in the Great British Sunday Lunch and give something back to a fantastic charity."
The money raised from the Great British Sunday Lunch will go towards supporting the vital work the RAF Benevolent Fund does to support the whole RAF family, from the youngest child on an RAF station, to RAF veterans living in retirement. Last year the RAF Benevolent Fund spent over £20 million helping more than 60,000 members of the RAF family with financial, practical and emotional support.
Mike Neville, Director of Fundraising at the RAF Benevolent Fund said: "The RAF Benevolent Fund receives no routine Government funding, so events like the Great British Sunday Lunch are essential to enable us to carry out the work we do.
"Our brilliant supporters have held some truly inspiring lunches this year, from a field kitchen to an Indian themed banquet in Yorkshire, and the incredible fundraising efforts of everyone involved in GBSL 2017 have been quite spectacular. We are truly grateful."