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Fundraising reaches new heights as RAF chef scales Inca Trail

Richy HartleyRichy Hartley isn't afraid of a challenge. As an RAF chef, he cooked up to 800 lunches a day for servicemen and women in Afghanistan. But he conquered a new challenge this month to aid the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund: a sponsored trek of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Richy's adventure began on 26 April.

Richy, now a chef at RAF Coningsby, undertook the nine day trek as part of a thirteen person team.  After summiting at Machu Picchu, Richy had climbed 4,200 metres – the equivalent of thirteen Shard’s stacked upon each other and half the height of Mount Everest.

Richy Hartley said: "The ascent was quite challenging, as we not only climbed steadily higher but also adjusted to the altitude.  Reaching Machu Picchu and knowing that I’d raised £630 for the RAF Benevolent Fund made all the hard work worthwhile."

Mike Neville, Director of Fundraising at the RAF Benevolent Fund said: "Few people realise the extent of the work the RAF Benevolent Fund does. Each year we spend more than £18 million supporting over 60,000 members of the RAF family, which includes serving and former RAF personnel and their families. With the funds raised by Richy, we can provide a year’s worth of Airplay youth services for two children or provide more than a year's worth of care home top-up fees to allow an elderly veteran to stay in the care home of his choice."

Richy said: "Having worked for the RAF for ten years, I've seen first hand how the RAF Benevolent Fund is there to support servicemen and women and their families. This was an experience of a lifetime and I’m so glad it can help others in need too."

To reach more about Richy's climb and to see more photos, please visit http://bit.ly/1piSGxN. Anyone wishing to sponsor Richy's trek can donate at: http://www.justgiving.com/RichyHartley

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