The RAF Skeleton team are undertaking a 30-day challenge of collectively walking, running, cycling and swimming 3,446 miles throughout June. This is the equivalent distance from RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire to all eight European skeleton bobsleigh tracks.
The team, which consists of 19 personnel based at various stations across the UK, are due to complete their challenge by 30 June. The virtual route ends in Konigssee, Germany, where the RAF Skeleton team recently took the Inter Service title for both men and women.
The challenge has been led by Corporal Louise Webb, who has been in the RAF for almost nine years. She is currently based at RAF Brize Norton and hails from Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire.
Cpl Webb said: “Coronavirus restrictions mean gyms are currently closed, which has had an impact on our training. However, exercise is proven to improve your mental health and in these strange times we need to look after it.
“We created this challenge as a way of coming together as a team, albeit virtually, to achieve a collective goal, while raising money for a great cause. We all know that whatever our situation may be in the future, the RAF Benevolent Fund will always be there for us should we ever need it.
“To stay motivated, we’ve kept in touch through the team WhatsApp group where we share pictures of our progress. We also have a mileage and sponsorship leader board which has inspired many people to push that little bit further.”
The RAF Benevolent are proud partners of the RAF Skeleton team. So far, the team have raised more than £1,500 through their fundraising page: give.everydayhero.com/uk/raf-skeleton-team
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, specialist advice on benefits, support with care needs, and more.
Lisa Hunt, Regional Fundraiser at the RAF Benevolent Fund, added: “Lockdown measures have meant many of our exciting fundraising events have been cancelled or rescheduled. However, the RAF Family are still in need of our support, so we’re thrilled the RAF Skeleton team are helping us continue to meet those needs.
“This is a demanding physical challenge and I know just how hard the whole team are working to achieve this, so from all of us here at the Fund, thank you.”
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.