On 30 May, four personnel from RAF Coningsby completed a fundraising challenge to raise money for the RAF Benevolent Fund, the RAF’s leading welfare charity. The team ran a combined total of 102km around the airfield to commemorate 102 years since the Royal Air Force was formed.
The team consisted of Cpl Chris Partridge, SAC(T) Charlie Merriman, SAC(T) Dylan Marte and SAC(T) Andrew Pue. All four are members of C4i Squadron at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire.
Cpl Partridge said: “All four of us have seen first-hand the RAF Benevolent Fund’s fantastic work, so decided to fundraise as a team. We had originally entered the Snowdon24 challenge, but sadly this was cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions. However, we still wanted to help support the Fund during this difficult time.
“We decided on the Coningsby C4i 102km challenge as we knew we could safely complete this around the airfield while still abiding by social distancing rules. We had fantastic support and backing from C4i Squadron, RAF Coningsby, and our family and friends. There were a few tears at the end, but we all managed to complete the challenge.”
The team have raised more than £1,000 so far. You can support the team by donating through their fundraising page: justgiving.com/christopher-partridge2.
The RAF Benevolent Fund provides financial, emotional, and practical assistance to serving and retired RAF personnel and their families. This includes grants to help with financial difficulty; free memberships for Headspace, the online mindfulness service Headspace; Airplay youth clubs, and more.
Lisa Hunt, Regional Fundraiser at the RAF Benevolent Fund, added: “The coronavirus lockdown has had led to many fundraising events being cancelled, so we’re incredibly grateful that Chris and the team were able to complete this challenge.
“Last year alone we spent nearly £250,000 supporting personnel and their families at RAF Coningsby. Thanks our dedicated fundraisers, we can continue to support the whole of the RAF Family for years to come.”
In response to the crisis, the Fund has introduced a weekly Check and Chat service and expanded its Telephone Friendship Groups service to allow more veterans to join a weekly call. It has made £2,500 available for each RAF station to provide an activity and wellbeing pack for RAF children, and staff at Princess Marina House, the Fund’s care and respite centre, have been contacting regular guests to identify any additional needs.