Since the last Wycombe World your RAFALOs have continued to promote the aims of the RAF Association and raise its profile not only on station but within the local Community.
The bond between the High Wycombe RAFA Branch and RAF High Wycombe has strengthened and it is my intention for this to continue with RAFALOs having a more visible presence at Branch collections and events. Within ‘the wire’ station personnel have supported collections, fund raising initiatives and membership recruitment drives resulting in the total raised at the time of compiling this article to £2900 with 42 new members recruited, most of this being achieved since Mar 12.
While this alone is a great achievement, RAFALOs have raised money individually and this raises the figure to just over £10,000. With forthcoming Recruitment Events, RAFA Wings Week, Branch Collections, Fund Raising and support to the City of Westminster collection still to take place RAF High Wycombe will certainly have made a fantastic contribution to the Association during 2012. On behalf of the RAFALOs I would like to thank you for your donations, support and genuine interest in what the Association does.
Having attended this years National Conference it is clear that the RAF Association has many challenges to face and with the on-going recession all charities are feeling the ‘pinch’. This has resulted in a reduction in the funds raised to support the provision of welfare and it will be a challenge for the Association over the coming years to meet the needs of an aging population. Despite the difficult financial climate serving members of the RAF raised more than £200,000 in 2011 to support the work of RAFA. The money was raised in a variety of imaginative ways including cycle rides, aircraft pulls, marathons and via Stations who nominated the Association as its primary charity for the year. As already mentioned your RAFALOs have certainly embraced this challenge and have raised funds to support the RAF Family through various sponsored events, the Big Breakfast and the commissioning of a Station Sketch to name but a few.
I am often asked how those serving benefit from the money raised for the Wings Appeal. One of the key projects is ‘Storybook Wings’ and thanks to the generosity of those that donated money during 2011, over 500 children were able to listen to stories and personal messages whilst their parent was deployed. Fundraisers also enabled a further 3,000 20-minute ‘Miles More Minutes’ cards to be sent out to the RAF personnel serving on operations in Afghanistan. In addition RAFA helped to fund contact houses on stations, an important facility that offers a haven for the benefit of RAF families and RAF Service personnel.
Without membership, and support to the various fund raising initiatives, RAFA would not be able to provide the wide range of welfare support. At just £18.00 a year (£1.77 per month payable through the wages of those serving) membership of RAFA represents excellent value for money. Should you require more information regarding membership or more details of the work undertaken by RAFA please do not hesitate to contact me or one of my Committee who will be more than happy to assist where we can. Once again thank you for your support without which I and my Committee would not be able to achieve what he have thus far.