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Swindon RAF veteran joins fundraiser celebrating 80th anniversary of the air cadets

A disabled veteran from Swindon will be taking part in a fundraising challenge this summer to raise money for the RAF Benevolent Fund and the RAF Air Cadets. To mark the air cadets’ 80th anniversary, the youth organisation has partnered with the Fund to launch a campaign to raise £80,000 to mark the anniversary.

Lorraine Tilston-Brookes, 56, served in the Women’s Royal Air Force from 1983 to 1988 as a telephonist and will be completing the 80 Miles in 80 Days challenge alongside her service dog, Doris. During basic training Lorraine had an accident that caused damage to her spine when she fell off the back of a lorry which has led to chronic pain.

The challenge begins on 1 June and runs until 19 August with funds raised split between the Fund and the RAF Air Cadets General Purpose Fund.

Lorraine with her service dog, Doris.Lorraine with her service dog, Doris.

Lorraine said: "The Fund supported me when I needed a new profiling bed 10 years ago, which made an enormous difference. I’m also a huge supporter of the air cadets, and my dog Doris is the unofficial mascot of the local air cadets, 878 (Highworth) Squadron, so this challenge seemed like a great way to support two causes that are close to my heart.

"Although walking 80 Miles in 80 Days will be physically challenging for me, I know that Doris will help keep me motivated. She always helps lift my mood and gets me up and out of the house even when I’m in a lot of pain."

You can sponsor Lorraine via her fundraising page: rafbf.enthuse.com/pf/lorraine-tilston-brookes.

Set up in 1941, the Combined Cadet Force and Air Training Corps are collectively known as the RAF Air Cadets. The groups provide youngsters aged 13 and above with opportunities for adventure, training and skills including learning to fly a glider.

The air cadets and the RAF Benevolent Fund have a long history of working together. As a charity which supports the RAF Family, the Fund has always been able to rely on support from the cadets in this mission with everything from fundraising efforts to supporting veterans and serving personnel at Fund events.

To mark the organisation's 80th anniversary, the RAF Benevolent Fund is proud to offer an enhanced package of welfare support for the RAF Air Cadets, including members of the Combined Cadet Force. Support includes emotional wellbeing, counselling and bereavement support, as well as financial support if a member is killed, on or off duty. This also extends to staff cadets and uniformed volunteers.

To share your memories of being an air cadet or to take part in the Fund's 80 Miles in 80 Days challenge, head to rafbf.org/aircadets.

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