RAF Marham Ironathon Exceeds Fundraising Target
Hot off the press, is the story that a team of able ironers from RAF Marham have exceeded their fundraising target by ironing shirts during a 24hr ‘Ironathon’.
The Ironathon which was the first charity event to kick off RAF Marham’s centenary year ‘100 events for 100 years’. The team who ironed shirts for 24 hours were raising money for the RAF Benevolent Fund, and set themselves a target of £500. Thanks to support from across the base (and the opportunity to have your shirts ironed by someone else!) the team exceeded their target and raised over £700 – a really tremendous result.
The idea was the brainchild of WO Anne Mclean, which she presented to the Station Benevolent Fund Committee and with two teams of volunteers (no pressed man or woman), a programme was published and with military precision, the kit pre-positioned. The teams of volunteers, all giving up their own time were warmly welcomed as they progressed across the station; a league table keeping track of the number of shirts being ironed was carefully updated. By way of supporting the two teams, some sections also held a ‘bake-off’ ensuring cakes were available to maintain the energy levels of the ‘ironers’ throughout the 24hr period. Guest ‘ironers’ were introduced with Anne’s fellow Warrant Officers and Officers agreeing to work a stint and keep morale high among the team. Throughout the day the team overcame such challenges as the gentlemen enquiring as to the correct length of the dart on a ladies shirt, to which the Dress Regulation Rule book was referred to – quality ironing and military standards clearly were the name of the game!
The afternoon shift saw the RAF Benevolent Fund Mascot Ben Elephant taking a break from his marathon training to show his support and encourage more donations, and British Forces Broadcasting Service playing Iron Maiden to keep spirits high. The Royal Navy Meteorological Team also based at RAF Marham challenged the RAF to an ‘Iron-Off ‘ as the Navy took on the blue shirts and the RAF the Navy’s white shirts – the ‘winner’ is still under discussion.
As the event drew to a close the team were greeted by the Station Commander, Gp Capt Rich Davies, and a number of the Wing Commanders. They donned their aprons and did an excellent and thorough job by finishing the last few shirts. With almost 380 shirts ironed at the last count and the money counted, everyone agreed it was well worth the lack of sleep and the ‘ironing elbow’.
Warrant Officer Mclean said, “It was great fun, a bit hot and steamy at times, and a few sore elbows, but we exceeded our target by a massive £200 – thank you so much to everyone who got involved and to those who donated so generously to this very worthwhile cause, I am looking forward to giving the cheque to the RAF Benevolent Fund.”