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Yomping the Falklands for RAF families

April Fools Club trek through the FalklandsSome of the roughest terrain in the Falkland Islands was no match for 11 members of the 'April Fools Club', as they trekked 120km through peat bogs and over mountains to raise funds for the RAF Benevolent Fund.

The expedition of business men and entrepreneurs raised close to £200,000 to build two seaside holiday homes for serving RAF families.

The group, more accustomed to boardrooms and finance than peat bogs and tussock grass in freezing temperatures, followed the historic route taken by the Royal Marines 45 Commando Group in 1982 from San Carlos to Stanley.

Graeme Shankland, Captain of the April Fools Club, said: "The yomp was incredibly demanding, both mentally and physically.

April Fools Club yomp through the Falklands"The amazing scenery masks brutal terrain and the weather could change from sunny to sleeting in the blink of an eye.  But it was an incredible experience to follow in the steps of 45 Commando and the yomp only deepened my respect for the service and sacrifice of all our military personnel."

The Falklands trek was the April Fools Club's first fundraising effort and the funds raised will go towards the construction of two seaside apartments at the RAF Benevolent Fund's respite centre, Princess Marina House, in Sussex. The apartments will provide a stress-free environment for RAF personnel and their families to relax, reconnect, and enjoy quality time together, particularly after deployments.

The April Fools Club at the end of their yompThe group benefitted from the support and counsel of patron Simon Weston OBE. Simon served as a soldier in the Welsh Guards and fought in the Falklands Conflict.

After landing at San Carlos, he was onboard the Sir Galahad en route to Bluff Cove when the ship was bombed and Simon was burned over 46% of his body.

Since then he has become the public figure of the Falklands campaign and worked extensively for charity.

Simon Weston said: "As a veteran, I know the challenges faced by military families and the importance of having time together as a family – particularly after long periods apart.

The April Fools Club with Simon Weston"The April Fools Club has done a tremendous job in raising over £175,000 for these seaside apartments for RAF families and I'm delighted to support their efforts."

Mike Neville, Director of Fundraising at the RAF Benevolent Fund, said: "RAF families face many challenges, including frequent moves and long deployments. 

"The two new seaside apartments will provide a much needed break, allowing families to relax and reconnect. We are so appreciative of the April Fools Club's incredible undertaking and very generous support."

To support their fundraising effort, please visit:

To learn more about their yomp, please visit:

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