A Corporal based at RAF Leeming is undertaking an 876-mile virtual ride covering the equivalent distance from Land’s End to John O’Groats in aid of the RAF Benevolent Fund, the RAF’s leading welfare charity.
Cpl Paddy Flint, 43, is a member of the RAF Police and has served in the Royal Air Force for more than 20 years. In 2015, Paddy was diagnosed with Non-Epileptic Attack Disorder, a condition that causes him to blackout.
Paddy was previously a dog handler/trainer, instructor, and coach/mentor, and while the diagnosis radically affected his career he has successfully fought to stay in the RAF. He was also forced to surrender his driving license in 2013 which has since affected his career path. However, earlier this year Paddy was awarded a grant for a recumbent trike by the RAF Benevolent Fund.
Paddy said: “The RAF Benevolent Fund has been instrumental in giving me my life back. The recumbent trike they funded has given me not only fresh impetus to get out and about, but it has also become a primary mode of transport since I surrendered my driving licence.
“Through this challenge I hope I can show that anyone can do this, because apart from my usual few miles I've done no training whatsoever. I’m also aware that the RAF Benevolent Fund won't have had as many chances to get out and 'rattle the buckets' this year, so any amount I can raise will be vital in assisting service personnel and their families.”
You can show your support by donating to Paddy’s fundraising page.
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, Airplay youth clubs, and more.
Aaron Tillyer, Regional Fundraiser at the RAF Benevolent Fund, said: “I’m thrilled that we were able to support Paddy earlier this year by providing a grant for his recumbent trike, and it’s really inspiring to see that he’s decided to set this challenge in order to give back to the Fund. This support will allow us to continue supporting the RAF Family, whenever they might need us.”
The RAF Benevolent Fund has launched a range of welfare initiatives to support personnel and their families through the Covid-19 pandemic. It introduced a 24-hour emotional support helpline, created an online mental wellbeing zone, and began offering Headspace memberships to RAF partners and spouses. The Fund has also offered a £2,500 grant to each RAF station to provide activity and wellbeing packs for RAF children and launched Airplay Connect, an online version of its youth support service.