Queen’s honour for charity chief
The leader of a national military charity has been appointed an OBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list.
Nick Bunting, who became Secretary General (Chief Executive) of the Royal Air Forces Association in March 2014, received the accolade for services to RAF personnel and veterans.
Nick has led a transformation of the RAF Association, which supports the wellbeing of serving RAF personnel, veterans and their dependants.
Reflecting on his time so far with the charity, Nick said:
“It was vital to modernise the Association to enable it to go on doing its life-changing work among members of the RAF family.
“My primary focus has been to ensure we provide high-quality services capable of meeting growing demand, and to support the increasingly complex welfare needs of our beneficiaries.
“My father and brother served in the RAF, and my grandfather and great grandfather both served in the Army, so I personally understand the sacrifices made by our nation’s military personnel. I also understand the impact that their service can have on them and their loved ones.
“I feel deeply honoured to have been recognised by Her Majesty The Queen, and I look forward to continuing to work with members, volunteers, trustees and employees, all of whom contribute to the welfare of the RAF family.”
The President of the RAF Association, Air Marshal Sir Baz North, said:
“Nick has overseen significant improvement in the professionalism of the administration of the Association, and has conducted a thorough examination of the governance compliance of all aspects of the charity.
“He has overcome resistance from those reluctant to accept legislative change and Charity Commission direction, and has led the Association’s staff with considerable moral courage and impressive drive and enthusiasm. He has also provided outstanding advice to the trustees.
“I am delighted that Nick has received national recognition for his leadership and effort.”
Nick began his career with Cadbury’s, and then worked for several other well-known food and drink manufacturers before becoming part of a management buy-out of the dry dog food division of Dalgety. As their Sales and Marketing Director, he helped create the largest supplier of own-label dry dog food in the UK.
Nick’s passion for sport led him to become a Rugby Football Union (RFU) referee and representative, and he was appointed as the northern hemisphere referee representative on the International Rugby Board Referee Committee.
He joined the RFU to lead the development of refereeing, and spent 14 years in a variety of roles, ultimately becoming its Head of Public Affairs and Operations.
On leaving the RFU, Nick became Chief Executive of one of The Prince of Wales’ charities, which he developed and expanded in order to reach more of its target group.
Prior to starting his RAF Association leadership role, he led the Royal Automobile Club Motor Sports Association through a period of transformation and growth. Nick’s other achievements include holding a Ministerial appointment, several non-executive directorships and being a trustee for several large charities.
Image: Nick Bunting OBE, the Secretary General of the Royal Air Forces Association