Last month a group of RAF Benevolent Fund trustees travelled to RAF Valley as part of their programme to visit stations nationwide, to gain a fuller understanding of the needs of serving personnel in an ever changing environment.
Having already visited RAF Honington earlier this year to appreciate the challenges faced by those based on station and in the community, the trip to Anglesey further embedded the Fund's relationship with serving personnel.
Currently, RAF Valley aims to train fast jet aircrew, train Search and Rescue pilots and crew, and also rescue individuals though the RAF Valley Mountain Rescue Team.
Lead by Chairman of the Trustees, Laurie Haynes, the visit gave the opportunity for the group to meet a wide range of personnel, airmen and women, OIC of various groups and station staff involved in supporting the Service.
After an informative briefing from Station Commander, Group Captain Brian Braid, about the station's operations, challenges and successes, the trustees had a chance to explain what current funding trends were happening on other stations and how some of them could benefit RAF Valley. Afterwards, a tour of the station facilities was conducted by Dean Clarke, Community Development Officer, and Dave Melmoth OC Base Support Wing.
"It was great to be able to meet and greet the trustees," commented Dean.
"They got to find out about the activities that are currently happening, our very exciting community buildings refurbishment project and our plans for the future. But what I really enjoyed was the opportunity of hearing their ideas too!"
Last year, the Fund spent £62,390 on RAF Valley. This year alone the Fund have supported an array of station activities from Families Days to The Queen's Birthday celebrations with Airplay youngsters.
Mike Neville, Director of Strategy and Fundraising at the Fund echoed Dean's thoughts: "The relationship we have with the RAF Valley is very important to the Fund. It's been a real pleasure to meet so many people, enjoy a comprehensive tour, and better understand the needs of those who serve here - in what can be a very isolated area for a number of reasons.
"With great relationships cemented, we look forward to building on these foundations and supporting Valley for many years to come."
The trustees are due to visit RAF Lossiemouth in early 2017.