Last night the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund hosted a special event in the Great Hall of Edinburgh Castle. Prior to a moving Beat Retreat ceremony, performed by Royal Air Force Leuchars Pipes and Drums, the leading RAF welfare charity received cheques totalling over £100,000 from RAF Leuchars and Douglas Laing & Co.
The charity spent almost £800,000 in Scotland last year supporting some 370 individuals and families who found themselves in need.
It provided grants to Relate Scotland, Gardening Leave and Scottish Veterans' Residences and over £125,000 was spent on serving personnel at RAF Lossiemouth and RAF Leuchars, through individual grants and the charity's Youth Support Programme Airplay.
The event, which was kindly sponsored by SELEX ES, was attended by The Lord Provost of Edinburgh, The Rt. Hon Donald Wilson, Air Officer Scotland, Air Commodore Gerry Mayhew and a number of WW2 veterans. During the evening, guests were entertained by the West Scotland Wing Band of the Air Cadets.
Air Marshal Chris Nickols, Controller at the RAF Benevolent Fund said: "The RAF Benevolent Fund carries out a considerable amount of welfare work throughout Scotland which will continue, whatever might happen in the future. We are also very generously supported by many people and organisations here for which we are enormously grateful. While there remain those from the RAF family in need of our support in Scotland, we will continue to do our utmost to provide it."
Fred Laing, Managing Director of Douglas Laing & Co. said: "Ever since I started working with the RAF Benevolent Fund I've been hugely impressed with their commitment and fundraising endeavours. My father flew with Coastal Command during WW2 and I know he would have been delighted to have been involved in this project from which I have donated the entire profits of a unique bottling of a Braeval 12 Year Old Single Sherry Butt. We've thoroughly enjoyed the evening and met some wonderful people."
The reception finished with a Beat Retreat in Crown Square carried out by the Pipes and Drums of RAF Leuchars under the direction of Pipe Major Ian Hughes.
Air Officer Scotland presented a cheque for over £90,000 from the RAF Leuchars Charities Fund and Fred Laing, Managing Director of Douglas Laing & Co., presented the charity with a cheque for over £8,500.
Based in Glasgow Douglas Laing and Co, the leading independent Scotch Whisky specialists released a unique charity bottling – a Braeval 12 Year Old Single Sherry Butt with all profits going to the RAF Benevolent Fund.