RAF Marham Honoured as Station of the Year by Military Charity
Representatives from RAF Marham picked up the coveted Wilkinson Sword last night after winning Station of the Year at the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund Awards for their extraordinary fundraising efforts. The sword was presented by Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford and Liz Sian from SafeSkys.
RAF Marham takes an inclusive approach to fundraising, involving the whole RAF community at the station, serving personnel, civilian staff and families. Despite many operational commitments this year, the team at RAF Marham have organised a number of diverse fundraising events raising more than £11,000 for the RAF’s leading welfare charity.
In September 2014 Marham attempted the Guinness World Record for most people running the bleep test simultaneously. Three-hundred-and-sixty-one service, civilian and industry personnel, including one dressed as Ben Elephant (the charity’s mascot), took to the runway, raising £450 for the Fund. Separately nearly £2,000 was raised from the 2014 RAF Marham 10k Fun Run and a local village fete.
These larger scale events were complemented by several smaller scale fundraising events including at the Station Families Day and Christmas Fair, selling RAF Benevolent Fund merchandise and homemade cakes, carrying out RAF Marham gate collections as well as at the local supermarket, and donations made for a Christmas tree display at a local Church.
RAF Benevolent Fund Controller Air Marshal Chris Nickols said: “We are very grateful to so many people at RAF Marham for their energetic and generous support of the RAF Benevolent Fund. From selling cakes and bucket collections to a run paying tribute to the 453 service personnel who lost their lives in Afghanistan, the servicemen and women at RAF Marham have really put their heart into fundraising for us. Their efforts help to make it possible for us to carry out our mission of supporting the entire RAF family when in need.”
Group Captain Harvey Smyth, Station Commander, said: “No matter where our servicemen and women are stationed, the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund is always there to help in times of need and their support at RAF Marham last year was incredible. They spent more than £100,000 helping our personnel and their families with services ranging from the trim trail and youth workers for young people; relationship and financial counselling; and 22 grants to individuals in need totalling almost £44,347. We truly appreciate their support and are honoured to reciprocate with our fundraising efforts.
Wing Commander Andy Gilbert, OIC Team RAFBF Marham, said: “Marham’s fundraising has been a true team effort involving service, civilian and industry colleagues during a particularly busy time operationally. Despite this busy period, Team RAFBF Marham have been determined to support the Fund with a range of fundraising events, large and small, contributing to more than £11,000 raised.”
The Station of the Year Award was sponsored by Safeskys, an airport services company, and managing director Richard Barber joined in congratulating RAF Marham at the event last night.
The RAF Benevolent Fund is the RAF’s leading welfare charity, providing a range of services for serving and former RAF personnel, their partners, and families. This is the third year that the RAF Benevolent Fund has recognised the stand-out contributions made by a few of the dedicated individuals, stations, and corporate partners who support the charity each year.
The awards ceremony was held at the Victory Services Club in London and kindly sponsored by Lockheed Martin UK.