Tornado Maintenance School and Barclays Bank Charity Week

Last year, I was privileged to have been a part of the RAF Marham Station CI Team which, in partnership with Barclays Bank Downham Market Branch, helped to raise over £10,000 in support of Help For Heroes.

This year, along with fantastic support from the Tornado Maintenance School RAF Marham, the partnership goal was to try and equal the amount raised previously; a tall order considering both the economic climate and increase in operational tempo across the Station.

Annually and within the local community, Barclays Bank provide the corporate ability to match ‘pound for pound’ any worthwhile charitable donation that they can participate in. The partnership of around 20 branches – planned a ‘Charity Week’ and a sponsored walk. Members of the Tornado Maintenance School, including a First Response Member, also ‘volunteered’ and so the Plan was put to the test…

… On Sun 11 Sep 11 at 1100hrs, a 30 or so group of men, women, children and a dog gathered at the Mobility Section (VAS) to begin a walk around the Airfield Perimeter Road. The weather was glorious and after one minute of silence to remember those who had lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks 10 years previously, the group of Barclays Staff, Service Personnel and dependants began the 10km walk. As we walked an aircraft passed overhead – a timely reminder to those not familiar with RAF Marham of the important role that the Station is playing on 2 operational fronts both at home and overseas. Despite the children trying every opportunity to finish their walk via the support van or accompanying medical car, the last of the walkers returned to VAS in a time of around 1hr 45mins. All in all, a great way of spending a Sunday lunch-time and a good way to commence the charity week ahead.

For the next 5 working days, members of the Tornado Maintenance School and Barclays Staff joined forces at the banking halls of the Downham Market and Kings Lynn branches; together, they generated enthusiasm and public support through various events including Indian, Italian and English Hamper Raffles, a guess the baby photo competition and a book stall, along with a general collection. By the end of the first day, it was obvious that the people of Downham Market and King’s Lynn think very highly of their RAF neighbours as the collection buckets continued to overflow! By the end of the 5 working days, including the ‘pound for pound’ match by Barclays Bank, the total amount raised for Help For Heroes stood at £15,026 with a further £25 through on-line collection and a generous amount raised through the selling of H4H merchandise. To everyone who sponsored, donated or just helped out, a really big thank you from each participating branch of Barclays Bank and from the Tornado Maintenance School at RAF Marham. A truly remarkable achievement, a fantastic amount raised for a good cause and a truly humbling experience for those who took part – well done to all!!

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