Debbie Hunter, Director of the RAF Benevolent Fund for Scotland and Northern Ireland, was delighted to welcome a number of the Fund's supporters and friends to a reception at Learmonth Terrace, the home of 603 Squadron in Edinburgh, sharing with them news and information about the RAF Benevolent Fund's work across Scotland.
She was joined by beneficiaries Mick McConnell and Joanna Martin, who told attendees how the RAF Benevolent Fund had supported them during their time of need.
He said: "The fact that the Benevolent Fund has helped us move to a home that's easily accessible and close to family where we can get support, has made a huge difference to our lives. "I didn't know a lot about them until I was injured, but now I realise that the RAF Benevolent Fund are not a small cog in the wheel – they're making a huge difference to people like me."
Former RAF nurse Joanna Martin, from Helensburgh, sustained a spinal injury on an assault course during a training exercise with 612 Squadron in 2005. "The RAF Benevolent Fund assisted me greatly in funding adaptations to my house," Joanna explains.
"These adaptations are essential for me to be able to live independently, so I am forever grateful for the help that the Fund gave me and the difference that it has made to my life."
Earlier this year, Joanna scooped five medals across three disciplines at the Invictus Games in Orlando, winning bronze in the handbike time trial, silver and bronze in rowing and two further bronzes in the discus. A regular fundraiser for the RAF Benevolent Fund, Joanna was able to join us to share her inspiring tale with supporters.
The RAF Benevolent Fund supports a range of needs in Scotland, from mobility aids to care home top up fees and support for our Serving families at RAF Lossiemouth. Last year, the Fund spent £545,000 supporting 340 members of the RAF family in Scotland.
Special thanks to Flight Lieutenant Ross McElhinney for the wonderful tour he gave of the historic 603 Squadron's HQ and to Pilot Officer David Clark and the 1143 (Portobello) Squadron Air Cadets for helping to make the evening a success.
A special thank you also to Air Officer Scotland for his welcome to our guests and his attendance.
Find out more on Mick's story.
To find out more about the RAF Benevolent Fund services support in Scotland, please contact the Scotland Regional Office.