Flying Officer Tom Stratton is taking part in the Mongol Car Rally with two friends to raise funds for the RAF Benevolent Fund. In this guest blog, he tells us more about the event and why he's raising money for our charity.
I'm currently serving at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire on 24 Sqn while I await Basic Fast Jet training on the Tucano at Linton-On-Ouse this October.
I joined the RAF in 2010 and have previously been based at Cranwell, Coningsby and Wyton. This summer I am taking part in the Mongol Car Rally with two friends from home – Tom Hopper and Will Reeves – as Team Yacky Racers. Since the rally's inception in 2004, more and more teams have taken part with around 300 expected this year.
There is no set route to get from the start at Dover Castle to Mongolia's capital, Ulaanbaatar, so we are planning to go through Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia. The car has to be younger than nine years and have a 1.2L engine or smaller.
With this in mind we have bought a 2004 1.0L Vauxhall Agila in purple and are setting about adding the necessary additions to get it to Mongolia, such as a sump guard and roof rack.
The rally sets of on Sunday 13t July from Dover, and we are aiming to get to Ulaanbaatar by the end of August.
Why I'm supporting the RAF Benevolent Fund
We have chosen to raise money for the RAF Benevolent Fund and Cancer Research UK, along with the organisers' official charity Cool Earth.
I wanted to help raise funds for the RAF Benevolent Fund because I can see the important work it does for past and present members of the RAF and their families, and want to make sure that it is still here in years to come continuing to offer services and support.
By Tom Stratton
Feel inspired by Tom's story?
Why not do some fundraising of your own to raise money for our work? Take a look at what you can do.
If you would like to donate to Tom's fundraising challenge, visit www.yackyracers.co.uk