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Airplay team's bike challenge for RAF96

The Airplay Youth Support management team are raising money for us as part of RAF96 by doing a static bike challenge on 9 May. In a guest blog, Airplay Area Youth Work Co-ordinator Mark Davis tells us more about the challenge and our Airplay programme.

96 minutes doesn't sound like a long time. But it feels like a very long time when you're on a bike, trying to cycle as many miles as possible. This is the challenge a team of Airplay youth workers from across the country and some of the officers from RAF Cosford have set ourselves to raise as much money as possible to support Royal Air Force personnel and their families.

Mark Davis4Children delivers the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund's Airplay programme by providing trained youth workers on 25 RAF stations in Britain.

We work closely with children and young people from RAF families who face the constant upheaval of frequently moving home each time their parent is posted to a new station.

This is also disruptive for children's education as they change schools mid-way through the term and leave their friends. On top of this service families also have to cope with the uncertainties of having a parent on deployment.

Airplay provides an exciting programme of youth work for children and young people and offers practical and emotional support when needed.

Airplay has bought consistent provision across the UK by working closely with the RAF's Community Development Officers we have been able to meet the particular needs of children and young people in each location.

One of the major benefits of having a network of youth centres is that when a family moves from one station to another they at least know that there will be an Airplay project for them to go to. Our projects have really helped children and young people settle into their new homes.

We wanted to take part in a fundraising event as a team to raise money for this vital work and raise awareness in the civilian community about the issues service families face. Our cycling challenge will take place in the community hub at RAF Cosford.

Each member of the team will cycle for 96 minutes on an exercise bike kindly provided by RAF Cosford, one minute for each of the 96 years of the RAF which celebrated its birthday in April and all donations will go to the RAF Benevolent Fund.

To sponsor us please visit www.justgiving.com/AirCycle.

By Mark Davis

0800 169 2942

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