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Hitchin school boy organises RAF charity fundraiser inspired by Spitfire pilot Mary Ellis

Whitehill Junior School head boy Dillon Stewart was so inspired by the story of Spitfire pilot Mary Ellis he decided to get his whole school involved in fundraising for the RAF Benevolent Fund by holding an 'RAF Day'.

Whitehill SchoolPupils at Whitehill Junior School create an RAF roundel for RAF Day.

Dillon, 11, has spent the last few months organising a host of activities for the special event which took place on Monday, June 3.

His incredible efforts have raised £250 for the charity which supports serving and retired RAF personnel and their families.

The children dressed in red, white and blue, forming the RAF's roundel on their school field. Dillon said:

"I thought the RAF were a big part of British history as they were fighting for our country and I wanted the day to be a thank you from all of us to them.

"I was excited on the day, but also a tiny bit nervous as I didn’t know if everyone would like the day."

Dillon has also been inspired by one of his teachers Glenn Denney, who is a pilot in his spare time.

Mr Denney helped the children with a competition to design a paper aeroplane and also a whole school design technology project to produce a wooden aircraft.

Dillon's head teacher Steve Mills said: "For me, one of the most exciting parts was getting the pupils to learn how to salute and then for the remainder of the week, having Year 3s stopping and saluting every time I walked past.

"It was an inspiring day at a very pertinent time for the RAF."

Glenn Denney, Dillon's co-organiser and Whitehill teacher, said: "Working with Dillon was inspirational and it was great fun exploring all aspects of the RAF not just my particular area of expertise as private pilot, flying."

Charlotte Barmby, Regional Fundraiser for the RAF Benevolent Fund, said: "It’s wonderful to see someone so young be so determined to work hard to help others.

"I hope the children enjoyed learning more about the RAF and what it does as well as how the RAF Benevolent Fund helps them.

"It’s only thanks to dedicated fundraisers like Dillon that we’re able to keep our promise, made 100 years ago, to always look after the RAF Family."

Last year, the Fund spent more than £21M supporting 56,000 and £61,800 of that was spent at RAF Henlow.

This year marks our centenary of the RAF Benevolent Fund and as part of the celebrations we are launching a campaign to reach even more RAF veterans and serving personnel.

We are appealing for the public to get in touch with us if they know of an RAF veteran, or their partners and dependent children (under 18), who may be in need.

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