SSAFA Update from RAF Marham In-Service Committee

Firstly, I am really pleased to report that your SSAFA In-Service Committee at RAF Marham is starting to get back to full strength as more people return from ops and new people join us in a volunteering role.

Welcome home to Steve S and ‘hello’ to Chris H and thanks as always to the rest of the team who have worked so hard to keep things together and get events organised whilst we have been so depleted in numbers.

You may remember that last month I reported we had a quiet start to June. That changed significantly by the middle of the month when we started to really ramp up the arrangements for the forthcoming fundraising events.

Over the week 23rd- 26th June, we held one Big Brew Up, three Big Cake Up events and Camo Day in three schools. To say it was a busy week is an understatement and despite how delicious they were, by Friday, I was ready not to see another cake again for a while! All this hard work from the team paid off though and by the end of the week we had made a fantastic amount of money to pay into our account.

The Carillion Amey Big Brew was organised very kindly by Melanie Reed, the Local Customer Service Centre Advisor for CA at Marham. This was held in the new parade outside the shops with the help of the Community Support team. A huge thank you to Carillion Amey for sponsoring this event, to Mel and everyone else for getting involved and to all those of you who attended. This raised £101.45!

The SSAFA ISC team and some friendly helpers then manned a cake stall in Louis Café Bar over lunchtimes for three days. The cakes for this were very kindly donated by Tesco in Downham Market and ISS with each Mess providing some for each day. The carrot cake from the Officer’s Mess became a clear favourite! Thank you to everyone who gave up their time to man the stall and to all those of you who came along to support us by buying the cakes. The total raised from these three days was £206.10! Thank you also to ISS for their support in allowing us to use Louis Café Bar for this event.

Finally, we held Camo Day events in three schools, Marham Cherry Tree Academy, Year 13 at Downham Market Academy VI Form and Diamond Academy in Thetford. Camo Day is the young person’s version of Armed Forces Day and takes place on the Friday before Armed Forces day. The students at Marham school were treated to an excellent day of activities arranged by Mrs Webb and the staff at the school including assault courses, a marching competition and a super display from 2620 Sqn. Thank you to Mrs Webb and all the staff and students who I hope had a super day and also to everyone from 2620 Sqn for their equipment display, to station photography section for coming along to record the events and to OC Ops Wing, Wg Cdr Melville for taking on the difficult task of judging the marching competition! Thanks to all parents who helped their children arrange their super Camo Day outfits, it was clear that a lot of effort had been put in by all involved and well-done to Phoenix class and Year Two for jointly winning the marching competition! The school raised £95.09!

Downham Market Academy Year 13 students took on the challenge of organising their own Camo Day spearheaded by 1018 (Downham Market) Sqn ATC Cadet Sergeant Elliot Green. The students here really got into the spirit of “Dress up, blend in” with some super ideas for camouflage based on the fabric of the building (red brick!) and lots of green and khaki about! The students held a cake sale and were treated to lunchtime activities from Force Development and Learning Sqn that involved lots of water and lots of laughs. Thank you to the FDLS team for their time and the fantastic teambuilding session, to Cadet Sergeant Green and also to Miss Hornby at the VI Form College for allowing the day to take place. The students raised £107.86!

Last but not least, Diamond Academy in Thetford also took part in Camo Day – thanks to Mr Mackinnon their Vice Principal who organised their dress up day and activities. The youngsters here had a fabulous day and raised £100!

We really can’t say a BIG enough thank you to everyone who was involved with arranging and taking part in all these events. Your time, energy and enthusiasm are so much appreciated and collectively, these four days of activities raised £610 for our committee funds. That is a fantastic total and we could not have reached it without you. Thank you all. Our intention is that forthcoming articles will give some insight into how the money we raise can be used here at RAF Marham.

We hope that next year we may be able to get more sections on Station and also more local schools involved with Camo Day. If you work on base and think that your section could do something to help on Camo Day to raise the awareness and understanding of what the RAF do at Marham or if you have a contact or responsibility in a school and would like to take part next June then please let me know on isc_marham@SSAFA.org.uk. We have one of the busiest SSAFA teams and we are the biggest fast jet base in the UK so it would be fantastic if Camo Day next year could be bigger and better in our area.

Until next time… if you would like to find out more please visit www.ssafa.org.uk.

If you would like to get in touch you can email me at: isc_marham@SSAFA.org.uk or if you would like to know more about our Community Volunteer Team or find out how you can help, you can call us on 07984 908622.

If you would like to get in touch with our professional counselling team you can get in touch in confidence: Tom Smith Tel: 01760 446051 Email: tom.s@ssafa.org.uk

Lynsey Butterfield Tel: 01760 337261 Ext: 6378 Email: lynsey.b@ ssafa.org.uk

Sandie Earnshaw Administrator Tel: 01760 337261 Ext: 6578 Email: sandie.e@ssafa.org.uk

SSAFA also offers an out of hours service which can be contacted on 0207 463 9358

These contacts cover all that SSAFA offers, the charity’s statement on what we do being: SSAFA provides practical, emotional and financial support to anyone who is serving or has ever served in the British Armed Forces, and their families.

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