A mother and son who live in Stoke-on-Trent are cycling 80 miles for charity this summer in honour of the RAF Air Cadets’ 80th anniversary. Mary-Jane Golinski (54) will be tackling the miles using a hand bike attachment for her wheelchair alongside 16-year-old Joe who has been an air cadet since he was 12.
Mum-of-three Mary-Jane has cerebral palsy and has used a wheelchair since 2017 following spinal surgery complications. The pair will be taking on the 80 Miles in 80 Days challenge, which runs until 19 August and aims to raise £80,000 for the RAF Benevolent Fund and the RAF Air Cadets General Purpose Fund.
Mary-Jane said: "Joe's confidence and resilience has skyrocketed thanks to the cadets. We've been through a stressful time as a family but going to cadets has really helped him cope with the challenges we've faced.
"Joe recently did his practice for his Silver Duke of Edinburgh awards, and he was one of the first cadets in his squadron to gain his rifle qualification. Joe's gained so much through the RAF Air Cadets, so we were really keen to give something back and this challenge seemed like the perfect opportunity for us."
You can sponsor Joe and Mary-Jane via their fundraising page: rafbf.enthuse.com/pf/mary-jane-golinski.
Set up in 1941, the Combined Cadet Force and Air Training Corps are collectively known as the RAF Air Cadets. The groups provide youngsters aged 13 and above with opportunities for adventure, training and skills including learning to fly a glider.
The air cadets and the RAF Benevolent Fund have a long history of working together. As a charity which supports the RAF Family, the Fund has always been able to rely on support from the cadets in this mission with everything from fundraising efforts to supporting veterans and serving personnel at Fund events.
To mark the organisation's 80th anniversary, the RAF Benevolent Fund is proud to offer an enhanced package of welfare support for the RAF Air Cadets, including members of the Combined Cadet Force. Support includes emotional wellbeing, counselling and bereavement support, as well as financial support if a member is killed, on or off duty. This also extends to staff cadets and uniformed volunteers.
To share your memories of being an air cadet or to take part in the Fund’s 80 Miles in 80 Days challenge, head to rafbf.org/aircadets. To thank our supporters, the fundraiser who raises the most before 22 August will win a special flight with The Blades Aerobatic Team.