Station charities committee

Have you ever wondered where your loose change goes when you put it in a Station Charities collection tin?  Or, for those of you who are Mess Members, where your 40p monthly Mess Bill contribution goes?

Well, the Station Charities Committee is the organisation tasked with managing the funds on your behalf.  The Cttee is chaired by the Stn Cdr and is made up of representatives from each of the Messes, SIF and Smithy’s amongst others.

Every January the Cttee meets to decide which 4 charities RAF High Wycombe and its parented units wish to support for the following 12 mths.  They are chosen from nominations provided by personnel across the site and must include at least one military charity.

The 2013 supported charities are:

The Thomas Ball Children’s Cancer Fund
Thomas Ball lived in Prestwood and died of cancer in 2003 aged 14.  During his lifetime he set up this charity, which has the objective to relieve sickness and distress in children suffering from cancer and their families, for example, providing a respite home on the coast.  Further details can be found at www.thomasball.org.uk.

The British Ex-Services Wheelchair Sports Association
Spinally injured veterans have been using sport as part of their rehabilitation. It’s very difficult to come to terms with a new disability when you have lost your job, in some cases your home, and your friends, all in one go. Civvy street is hard enough to adapt to without the added trauma of war and a disability. The sports weekends give them something to look forward to. They can not only challenge themselves but also get fitter.  Find out more at www.bewsa.org.

Hearing Dogs for Deaf People
The charity offers greater independence, confidence and companionship to deaf people by providing dogs trained to alert them to chosen everyday sounds.  Over half a million people are severely or profoundly deaf which can lead to a loss of their sense of security, confidence and independence. Deafness is an invisible disability and can lead to isolation and loneliness as people withdraw, finding it increasingly hard to communicate.  However, the dogs reverse this process.  More details can be found at www.hearingdogs.org.uk.

High Wycombe Central Aid Society
The High Wycombe Central Aid Society was established to help people in need in the High Wycombe area.  It provides information and advice on a wide range of topics, small grants, plus clothing and food on a limited basis to those in need of help in the High Wycombe area. The Society also runs a Furniture Project which collects donated furniture and furnishings, mainly for sale to those on low incomes.  Find out more at www.central-aid.org.uk.

Following the selection, the Cttee meets quarterly to agree how much to pay out to the 4 charities and to discuss other requests for charitable contributions which have been received since the last meeting.  The charities above have just received their first quarterly payment of £400 each!

In 2012, £8500 was raised through contributions from Mess Bills and Fundraising, whilst a further £350 was raised through sales of the Station Print and Collection Tins.  This meant that £2,100 was paid to each of the 4 supported Station Charities!  And Station Charities paid out a further £1,200 in one-off donations to other charities including the British Heart Foundation and Thames Valley and Chiltern Air Ambulance.

The Stn Charities Cttee has a Sub-Cttee who do all the hard work, organising fundraising across the sites and at local fetes.  Anyone interested in getting involved with the Sub-Cttee should contact the Deputy Chair, Sgt Richard Houlihan on Ext 3042.

Finally, if you are doing something exciting to raise money for charity, please let the Stn Charities Cttee know.  Even if you are fundraising for a separate charity we are always interested in how much good work RAF High Wycombe personnel are doing and we may be able to help you advertise your activity.  You are also welcome to use our Station bank account to hold funds on your behalf (contact OC Accts, Flt Lt Daisy Cannons on Ext 6780 for more details) or advertise on our Charities Website at: http://cui5-uk.diif.r.mil.uk/r/367/Charities/default.aspx (or found via the RAF High Wycombe Community MOSS webpage).  For further details on the Station Charities Committee contact the OIC, Flt Lt Jo Ellis on Ext 6640.