To celebrate its 50th anniversary, Yorkshire Universities Air Squadron (YUAS) has completed a 50-hour non-stop cycle and rowing challenge to raise money for the RAF Benevolent Fund.
YUAS's original aim was to cover the distance from RAF Linton-on-Ouse, where YUAS are based, to RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus — equivalent to a total of 4,544km. In actual fact, the Squadron ended up beating this target by completing 4,700km in total, using stationary machines.
Around 40 students were involved in the event, which kicked off on Sunday 31 June and ended on Tuesday 2 July. Each year, YUAS set themselves a physical challenge to raise money for charity, but this year's was particularly tough as it involved cycling and rowing throughout the night.
The RAF Benevolent Fund offers support and advice to anyone who has ever served in the RAF as well as their partners and dependants. This ranges from financial assistance and care and mobility services to counselling and emotional support.
In 2018 alone, the RAF Benevolent Fund spent almost £500,000 supporting beneficiaries across Yorkshire, as well as a further £118,558 supporting personnel at RAF Linton-on-Ouse.
YUAS was formed in 1969 and recruits students from the University of York, the University of Sheffield and the University of Leeds as well as other feeder universities in Yorkshire. The Squadron offers undergraduate students a unique insight into what RAF life is like.
You can show your support by donating via YUAS’s JustGiving page.
Aaron Tillyer, Regional Fundraiser at the RAF Benevolent Fund, commented: "The generosity shown by the students involved, who all manage busy schedules outside of the Squadron, is overwhelming. We receive no Government funding, so we are extremely grateful for YUAS's ongoing support. Without fundraising efforts like these, we simply wouldn’t be able to offer the same level of support to the RAF Family."
It's not just YUAS that is celebrating an anniversary this year. 2019 marks the RAF Benevolent Fund’s 100th anniversary and to honour the occasion, it has launched a major campaign to double the number of people it helps.
The Join the Search. Change a Life campaign encourages the public to get thousands of RAF veterans and their families ‘back on the radar’ and, if they need it, accessing support that is rightfully theirs.