A former air traffic controller has reignited her links to the Royal Air Force by setting up a new company which is supporting the RAF Benevolent Fund.

After a career in the Royal Air Force spanning 30 years, the last 14 of which were mostly spent at High Wycombe, Wg Cdr Trish Preston-Whyte decided to leave full-time employment last year to embark on a new venture. In 2016, she set up the Chiltern Candle Company, where she developed her hobby of making luxurious candles into a business.

Trish, who is married with two teenage children and lives locally, makes all the candles herself using traditional methods. In September, she created a new design, drawing inspiration from her long association with the RAF to help a good cause. She explained:

‘With RAF 100 coming up, I thought that I would like to celebrate my own service, which amounts to almost a third of the existence of the RAF, which seemed quite an amazing achievement. I therefore created ‘ASCENT’ that I specifically designed for the RAF Benevolent Fund who have endorsed the product and will receive 10% of the profits. ‘ASCENT’ is a unisex fragrance that is light, fresh and will appeal to many.’

An active member of the Chiltern community, Trish is the manager of her son’s football team and the producer of a local amateur production. In addition to her work with the RAF Benevolent Fund, she volunteers with the ‘Hearing Dogs for Deaf People’ charity and is still serving part-time as an RAF Reservist at Air Command.

‘ASCENT’ can be purchased from and the RAF Museum.