RAF Benevolent Fund recognises supporters at annual awards
The RAF Benevolent Fund celebrated its generous supporters at its annual awards ceremony held last week (27 June) at Plaisterers’ Hall in London.
The 10 awards announced included the RAF Stations Challenge Cup, which recognises the Station that has raised the most money through sporting events, and Outstanding Support from an Organisation, which celebrates those organisations that the Fund receives dedicated support from, year after year.
The ceremony was watched by an audience of RAF personnel, including Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier, and beneficiaries of the RAF’s leading welfare charity.
The most eagerly anticipated award of the night was the RAF Station of the Year, which was won by RAF Odiham. Raising money for the RAF Benevolent Fund is very much part of the Station ethos, and over the last 12 months, RAF Odiham has raised more than £20,000 for the charity.
Air Vice-Marshal David Murray, Chief Executive at the RAF Benevolent Fund, said:
“The Fund’s annual awards are a fantastic opportunity to celebrate all of our supporters and an event that we look forward to every year.
“Congratulations to each of the winners in the 10 categories revealed tonight, we simple could not do what we do without your support.
“This year, the Fund marks its 100th year of support for the RAF Family. To celebrate this milestone, we are encouraging even more people in need to seek our help. The tireless support of this year’s nominees and winners will go a long way towards helping us achieve this goal.
“The enthusiasm, creativity and generosity we’ve seen throughout the last year is truly inspirational. From all of us here at the Fund – thank you.”
Among the award winners was 98-year-old Allan Scott. Allan is an RAF veteran who served in the Second World War as a Spitfire pilot. Originally posted at RAF Biggin Hill, Allan joined the Air Force in 1940 aged 18. He defended the country during the Battle of Britain and was just 19 when he shot his first enemy aircraft down.
Allan has been a long-standing supporter of the RAF Benevolent Fund. He has spoken at a number of events and signed prints and books for the charity, and to mark the centenary of the Royal Air Force he was back in his beloved Spitfire doing a victory roll over Biggin Hill.
On collecting his award, Allan said:
“The RAF Benevolent Fund is a wonderful organisation. It offers members of the RAF Family a wide range of support, and I am willing to help out it in any way, shape or form I can. I always have done, and I always will do.”
Below is the full list of the awards and the winners of each category.
|Above & Beyond||SAC Mark Bisset, RAF Brize Norton|
|Airplay Youth Worker of the Year||Kathryn Smith, RAF Waddington|
|Air Training Corp or University Air Squadron of the Year||University Birmingham Air Squadron, RAF Cosford|
|Corporate Fundraising Activity of the Year||Lincolnshire Co-op|
|Fundraising Team of the Year||The April Fools Club|
|Outstanding Support from an Organisation||Goodwood|
|RAF Station of the Year||RAF Odiham|
|RAF Stations Challenge Cup||RAF Honington|
|Special Recognition||Allan Scott|
|Welfare Caseworker of the Year||Peter McGraghan|
Now in its seventh year, the RAF Benevolent Fund Awards recognise the outstanding contributions of its supporters, personnel on stations and corporate partners who support the charity each year. This year the Fund marks its 100th anniversary and to mark the milestone, it launched a major campaign earlier this week 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.
The RAF Benevolent Fund Awards, held at Plaisterers’ Hall in London, were sponsored by Lockheed Martin UK. You can view the videos announcing each category award winner online.