RAF Benson serviceman Jake Palliser

Thursday 2nd May 2024

On Wednesday 1 May, RAF Benson serviceman Jake Palliser will be taking on an epic 87-mile solo trek to raise money for the RAF Benevolent Fund, the RAF’s leading welfare charity.

The Ridgeway Expedition is a 140km trek across the Ridgeway National Trail from Avebury in Wiltshire, to Ivinghoe Beacon in Buckinghamshire and will take four days to complete. The Ridgeway Trail is famous for being the oldest road in Britain.

Air Specialist (Class 1) Jake Palliser, 26, works as an air and space operations specialist at RAF Benson. Jake has spent much of his career on the iconic, now retired, C-130J Hercules aircraft at Brize Norton.

Jake said:

“I have served in the RAF for eight years and during that time I’ve had some truly amazing experiences, travelling the world, jumping out of planes and being part of events that have really made a difference to others.

“Work aside, my family are my backbone, as is the case with many military personnel. Without the support of our families, we would find it incredibly difficult to cope with the pressures of military life.

“My wife and I are expecting our first baby this year, so now is an important time to contribute back to the RAF Benevolent Fund, an organisation that takes care of our families and loved ones. Having had support from the Fund ourselves, we’ve seen firsthand how amazing this organisation is!

“Throughout my various deployments, the Fund have organised trips and activities for my wife and family, including activities with other military partners in the local area. I thought this was a wonderful touch and gave me some reassurance that my family were being looked after in my absence.

“I’m most looking forward to the challenge of living self-sufficiently in the wild; I feel that keeping a good pace through the terrain will be a great challenge.

“I’ll be living out of my Bergen backpack, wild camping and living on ration packs for four or five days, weather dependent, like we would on exercise.”

You can donate to Jake’s fundraiser here.

The RAF Benevolent Fund provides financial, emotional, and practical assistance to serving and retired RAF personnel and their families. This includes grants to help with financial difficulty, mental health support, Airplay youth clubs, and more.

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