As the RAF marks the 40th anniversary of the Chinook, Regional Fundraiser Heather Kemp looks back at the many ways personnel attached to the mighty aircraft have supported the Fund.
Over the years it's been a real privilege to steward countless RAF Benevolent Fund supporters, none more so than those serving on the Chinook Force, who have consistently gone above and beyond in the name of charity.
From bucket collections in supermarkets and train stations, to visiting lonely RAF veterans, personnel from the Chinook Force at RAF Odiham have always been on hand to help.
The Force also revel in lacing up their trainers for numerous fitness challenges, all to raise vital donations for the RAF Family. With scores taking part in the Great South Run and even more pounding the streets for the Fleet Half Marathon, they truly do go the distance for the Fund. Whether it’s participating in endurance events at home or in the searing heat of West Africa whilst on deployment, nothing seems to phase these incredible supporters and I am so proud of what they achieved and the dedication they have shown not just to the Fund, but to our beneficiaries too.
But it's not just the physical feats. Personnel have always given up their time to support the wider RAF community. From attending funerals of veterans who have sadly passed, to inspiring the next generation of aviators at school assemblies, it is a true pleasure to work alongside them, knowing they will do themselves, the station and the Fund proud.
As the Chinook celebrates 40 years, I want to say a massive thank you to all those personnel who have given so much in blood, sweat and tears to help raise awareness of the RAF Benevolent Fund. Without their support we simply would not be able to reach thousands of individuals in need every year. Although we can’t celebrate the Chinook's milestone anniversary in person just yet, I hope everyone is able to raise a glass to the aircraft, their own personnel efforts and the RAF Family of which we are all a part of.
To see how the Fund supports RAF personnel visit www.rafbf.org/serving.