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Celebrating 50 years of Puma: Five RAF personnel lift 50 tonnes in five hours for charity

A team of five personnel from RAF Benson have lifted 50 tonnes each, in under five hours, to raise money for the RAF Benevolent Fund. As 2021 marks 50 years of RAF service for the Puma, the team from 33 Squadron wanted mark the milestone anniversary in a memorable way.

Puma Pilot Fundraising

Led by 30-year-old Flt Lt Gibson, a Puma helicopter pilot, the team completed their incredible challenge last month in under three hours and raised more than £1,500. Joining him in the challenge was Flt Lt Rolleston-Smith, Flt Lt Mullins, Flt Lt Cushen and Sgt Fellows.

Flt Lt Gibson said: "The Puma is such an iconic aircraft and we wanted to mark its 50th anniversary in a big way while raising money for a charity that's close to our hearts. We're lucky enough to have access to Covid-secure gym equipment here on the TORAL Aviation Detachment, and this seemed like a great opportunity to raise awareness of the anniversary, challenge ourselves and stay motivated.

Puma Pilot Fundraising

"The Fund has made a huge contribution to personnel at RAF Benson, most recently through the All Ranks Common Room, as well as everyday services such as providing access to Headspace, the mindfulness app. We know it’s been a tough year for everyone, charities included, and the Fund do a lot of important work supporting serving personnel, veterans and their families, so we were keen to do what we could to help them."

Heather Kemp, Regional Fundraiser at the RAF Benevolent Fund, said: "It's great to see the team using the 50th anniversary of the Puma as a springboard to challenge themselves and raise money for the RAF Benevolent Fund. Their support means we can be there for many more members of the RAF Family – emotionally, practically, and financially – whenever they may need us. Well done team!"

You can sponsor the team via their fundraising page: justgiving.com/50t450y.

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