More than 75 personnel from RAF Benson took part in the Reading Half Marathon to raise funds for the RAF Benevolent Fund. In honour of the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain this summer, each runner was challenged to raise £75 for the charity. Station Commander and Puma Force Commander, Group Captain Simon Paterson tells us more in this blog.
The RAF Benevolent Fund plays a big part in maintaining the morale and welfare of my personnel and their families, particularly during times of operational deployments such as the Puma Force entering Afghanistan.
Raising funds for the charity as a team is an excellent way for us to work together for a common aim and to benefit the RAF Benson family and the wider RAF family.
More than 75 RAF Benson personnel joined me in the Reading Half Marathon, representing almost every branch and trade, with pilots, engineers and administrators running alongside air traffic controllers, flight operations assistants, physical training instructors, suppliers and many more. We had trained for several months, with the Station's triathletes spurring on those who usually only undertaken a leisurely jog around the local villages.
We also had RAF personnel from the Puma Force currently deployed on Operation Toral in Afghanistan joining in from afar, running their half marathon distance on a treadmill and in slightly different environmental conditions!
Each runner was challenged to raise £75 in honour of the 75th anniversary year of the Battle of Britain and the RAF Benevolent Fund was chosen as the charitable recipient because of the support they have continually shown to RAF Benson and its personnel. From funding youth workers and children's play parks to individual grants, the RAF Benevolent Fund supports RAF Benson, its personnel and their families.
This was a big challenge for RAF Benson personnel, both physically and to raise such a significant sum. I'm so proud of all the runners and we're thrilled to have already raised almost £6,900 for the RAF Benevolent Fund.