Last month, dog enthusiast Maria Clark organised a competition with a difference! Inspired by Crufts, Maria took to the internet and arranged an online dog show, all to raise money for the RAF Benevolent Fund. In this guest blog, Maria tells us why she was keen to fundraise for the RAF’s leading welfare charity.
I am an enthusiastic fundraiser and when I’m not working as a Healthcare Support Worker (HCSW) in a Mental Health Hospital I really enjoy organising events throughout the year to support worthwhile causes. My brother, Garion, is currently serving at RAF Brize Norton as a Logistics Mover and suggested I look into the work that the RAF Benevolent Fund does to support people like him and the wider RAF family.
I went online and read about the work that the Fund does and all about their welfare initiatives such as their youth support programme Airplay and their respite facility Princess Marina House that offers breaks for veterans and their families and knew this was the charity I wanted to support.
My idea was to organise an online dog show where there are set classes for people to enter. Sort of like an online Crufts! People can submit their entries by sending in photos of their dogs and then the judge chooses a winner from each category. The winners each received a handmade RAF Benevolent Fund rosette. We had over 300 entries which was great! I arranged sponsorship for most of the classes and charged an entry fee which all went to the RAF Benevolent Fund and raised £360 in total.
I also recently ran an online auction on behalf of the RAF Benevolent Fund, which raised an amazing £1,050. We had a huge variety of prizes available, from photoshoots, dog show handling sessions and vouchers.
I’ve also managed to convince my brother and his RAF colleagues to get involved too. We are looking into entering a team into the Tough Mudder competition and we will of course be fundraising for the Fund.