The RAF Benevolent Fund, the RAF's leading welfare charity, held an awards ceremony to celebrate and recognise the stand-out contributions made by a few of the many dedicated individuals and corporate partners who support the charity.
The event, held at the Royal Institute of British Architects, in London, was the charity’s first award ceremony of this kind and nine awards were given out over the course of the evening.
Hornby Hobbies, BAE Systems plc, Prolinx Ltd and Shepherd Neame Brewery all picked up awards for their corporate fundraising. RAF High Wycombe scooped the award for the ‘Best RAF Station’, a team of fundraisers, based at RAF Lossiemouth and staff and Air Cadets from 2534 (Fakenham) Squadron ATC both received awards for their fundraising efforts. There were also two special awards presented to individuals who help the charity deliver its welfare work on the ground.
Hornby Hobbies Ltd, based in Margate, Kent, won the award for the Best Cause-Related Marketing Activity. Hornby Hobbies, has been raising money for the RAF Benevolent Fund through their Airfix range for over four years.
Oxfordshire-based IT solutions provider Prolinx Ltd picked up an award for innovation within their corporate fundraising. Prolinx has generously supported the Fund with a £50,000 corporate donation each year since 2010, as well as supporting the charity in a number of other innovative ways.
Shepherd Neame Brewery picked up an award for their long-standing commitment. Through their award-winning Spitfire Ale, charity events and merchandise the Kent-based family brewery and pub operator has raised over £350,000 for the charity since 1990.
BAE Systems plc picked up the award for Best Corporate Social Responsibility Support. The company has supported the charity with a £50,000 corporate donation each year since 2010. The funds have helped the RAF Benevolent Fund deliver its ambitious Airplay programme, which is supporting some 4,000 children and young people living on RAF stations across the UK.
A team of fundraisers based at RAF Lossiemouth picked up an award for their devoted fundraising efforts. The enthusiastic team, called RAF Lossiemouth Team RAFBF, have taken part in a diverse range of fundraising and publicity initiatives, including a sponsored firewalk, a Christmas fair, cake baking, raffles, quizzes and awareness stands at events.
Staff and cadets from 2534 (Fakenham) Squadron ATC were awarded a Community Fundraising Award for Air Training Corps Squadron of the Year for their unwavering support and dedication. The cadets, who are based at Fakenham College, Norfolk, have played a key role in assisting the charity at events over the last three years and have helped raise over £5000 doing everything from bucket collections to selling merchandise.
Karen Leahair and Pat Phillip, RAFA caseworkers from RAF Linton-on-Ouse, picked up an award for their dedication to welfare support in the North-East.
Lucy Allin, an Airplay Youth Worker at RAF Leuchars picked up an award for her commitment to supporting children and young people living on or near the station as part of the RAF Benevolent Fund’s Airplay programme.
The final award of the evening went to representatives from RAF High Wycombe who won ‘Best RAF Station’ of the year, for their fundraising efforts. Through a number of fundraising events , organised by people based at the station, including members of the Thursday Club, the station raised over £35,000 for the charity in 2012.
Speaking on behalf of the RAF Benevolent Fund, Dean Benton, Director of Marketing and Communications said: "All of the winners here tonight have been chosen not only for their outstanding and dedicated support, but also for their sheer enthusiasm for the work of the RAF Benevolent Fund.
"Last year we spent over £23 million delivering welfare to over 68,000 members of the RAF family. As a charity with no guaranteed income we rely on this kind of wonderful enthusiasm for our work and tonight is all about saying a big thank you to all our winners, and, indeed, to all of our supporters, for their generous support. We simply could not do the work we do without them."