RAF Benevolent Fund History

The Royal Air Force was founded in 1918, in the last year of the Great War. Once the war had ended, airmen unlike the Army and Navy had no charity of their own.

The fledgling RAF had endured 16,000 casualties, leaving 2,600 widows and dependants and 7,500 badly incapacitated men, who often had little or no chance of employment for the rest of their lives. So in 1919 Lord Trenchard set about creating the RAF Benevolent Fund (RAFBF). The remit then was to provide direct welfare assistance to those of the extended RAF family in need or distress. Last year the RAFBF helped over 60,000 people.

RAFBF Christmas Fayre
During September 2012, a small group of enthusiastic supporters initiated the RAF Marham RAFBF Team, headed up by Flt Lt Ferguson. During our months of initial planning it was suggested that we should raise our profile by hosting a Christmas Fayre as our first initial event. So on 3rd December 2012 we hosted this event at the Sandringham Centre.

Our main objectives for the Fayre was to provide the community with somewhere locally where families could buy small Christmas presents for their loved ones and raise the profile of not only the RAFBF but highlight the excellent facility which the Sandringham Centre can provide. The RAFBF Team worked in conjunction with Personnel Management Squadron, Community Support and the local schools to ensure it was a success.

The doors opened and the Fayre kicked off with a special appearance from ‘Santa Claus’. There was lots of gifts and refreshments on offer such as mulled wine, mince pies, cards and gifts, jewellery, cakes, jam, chutneys and much much more. The event was so popular that at one point the Station Commander found it difficult to get through the crowds of people to announce that 6 year old Holly Taylor, from the Marham Infant School, had won the Christmas Card competition. Later on in the evening the Marham Bluebirds sang Christmas songs to the public whilst the crowds shopped.

In total the event raised a fantastic amount of £693 which was split between the RAFBF and the Sandringham Centre. A big thanks must go to the RAF Marham Benevolent Fund Committee team for organising this event. Thanks also to the Community Support Team for their assistance, the Officer’s Mess and Sgts’ Messes for donations which paid for the mulled wine and mince pies and the Marham Bluebirds and Marham Infant School pupils for their musical support. And finally a big thank you to all the Sections and individual personnel at RAF Marham that made this day a success.

As a Team we are planning more fun packed and worthy events which will raise the profile of the RAFBF even more. Therefore we hope and appreciate your continued support, assistance and donations which will in turn help those who are in less fortunate positions.

For more info please visit the RAFBF website www.rafbf.org.uk or if you would like to donate please visit www.rafbf.org/171/donate-now.html. Furthermore if you want to organise an event or simply have raised money for the RAFBF, please get in touch with one of the members of the team below:

Flt Lt Ferguson, Ext: 7075
FS Andrea Culley, Ext: 6750
FS Graham Spark, Ext: 7501
SAC Jim Anderson, Ext: 3476
SAC Ian Hoddy, Ext: 7016
SAC Samuel Reason, Ext: 3476

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