93 Expeditionary Armament Sqn Visit Napier Court
Members of 93 Expeditionary Armament (EA) Squadron recently visited Chelmsford and Napier Court in the Army heartlands of Essex, a sheltered housing scheme.
The purpose of the visit was to thank the residents for their generous contributions towards the Support Our Soldiers (SOS) welfare parcels that servicemen and women enjoy whilst deployed to Afghanistan. The team consisted of: Flight Sergant Kev Doyle, Chief Tech Martin Evans, Corporal Jo Bevan, Senior Air Craftsmen J Ireland, Ross Kemp and Danny Bebbington.
We were delayed slightly by the fog and so everyone was waiting for us and they broke into spontaneous applause as we walked in – which was totally unexpected and quite humbling.
The projector, laptop and screen were duly set up and we proceeded to give a presentation on the history and role of 93(EA) Sqn. Each of the team then gave a brief synopsis of their careers and life in the RAF today with a Q&A to follow. The residents said they had a very enjoyable time.
The driving force of the group, Daphne Leader, has been collecting goods and raising funds by holding auctions and coffee mornings since November and has raised over £1,600 in the process. Daphne also very kindly cooked a special lunch for everyone, including mince pies and trifle.
Flt Sgt Doyle said, “The charities that support our troops do so willingly and in order to send out their standard 50 parcels per month, costs about £400 per month. This is a lot of fundraising. In fact, for the Colchester area co-ordinators, Alan & Judy Bishop, who were also in the audience, it was a full time job. They are both retired but Alan worked part time which he gave up because more time was needed to co-ordinate the effort. It seems that Judy bakes cakes morning noon and night to sell at coffee mornings to raise funds. Nothing is asked in return but they delight in receiving thank you notes. When they do receive replies, it makes their day and gives them the encouragement to carry on; and is a very small price to pay. RAF Marham personnel reading this may remember receiving these parcels and you know how much of a lift they provide. The forces are enjoying a lot of public support at the moment and I urge you in the future to take a few minutes to write a quick bluey or Email to thank them and to let them know that their efforts have not gone unnoticed.”
We presented Daphne with an Afghanistan plaque as a lasting token of our thanks on behalf of not only 93(EA) Sqn, but RAF personnel everywhere who have benefitted from their generosity and kindness.