Sunday, 26 May 2013

RAFA Collection

Hey guys!

It's been a bit now since I've updated you and there's been a couple of things going on with our fantastic charity. For example, The Adventure of the Teddy Bear and The Night of the Brain Squeeze.

I'll leave those to torment you with promise for now and instead, regale you with photos from yesterday - which was a collection day at our local Morrisons store in Cannock. Hopefully we'll be down again sometime soon and you'll get to come and support us - and don't forget to sport our great Nose Trend! ;)

The first is my view from the train window. What a glorious day!

Mill Street still has a beautiful classic look about it that identifies it as an older English street, both by buildings and tarmac!

This is Joan, the Wings Officer for Cannock Branch. She does a fantastic job raising money for Wings, literally leaving no stone unturned. An amazing lady - even if she doesn't like her photograph being taken. ;)

Time for a break around 2pm, after an acquaintance from the Ex-Servicemen's Club (where we're based) kindly bought us both a drink! I had a cappuchino, Joan reverted to water. :P

We dearly love to get the customers actively involved in what we're doing. Some people give because of their backgrounds in cadets or connections to the military (and some don't if they're in the Army! ;) ), some give because of kind hearts, some because of our amazing stickers and some because...well. It has to be said. Because we have nice smiles or stickers on our nose. ;)

The kiddies especially love our "Future Pilot" and aeroplane stickers, and then of course we have the "special ladies" or "grown-up" sticker for the 70 years celebration. (The one on my nose).
Two 12/13 year old girls walked out proudly sporting stickers on their noses, as did this lady I had my photograph with. I wore mine all the way home! Hope they did too.

Some of the folks we meet are so fascinating! I met a 91 year old veteran from WWII who goes out shopping once a day to prove he can manage on his own after they took his car from him. Such a lovely guy - he was in the Fleet Air Arm as an aircraft engineer.

(I had a photo taken with him but for some reason it keeps reverting to upside down.) Bleh.

Another lady I met lived in Bloxwich during the war; she was four years old at the time. Her family owned 100 cows and four dogs, all running loose. Although they had a fake aerodrome at the bottom of the house (to detract from the real ones), and there were bomb drops, not one of their cows or dogs were injured. Amazing!

Time to get the husband to collect her after his nice day off. ;)

Not to leave you breathless with suspense, we raised £245 in the six hours we were there. Yippee! There's some more money to help our brave servicemen.

That's all, folks! Hope you had fun reading this. Leave us some comments and tell us what you think!

Saturday, 27 April 2013

A Year On...

In the last few months as an Air Training Corps cadet, Dave Blackwell (who is the RAFA Cannock Branch's Air Training Corps Liaison Officer) persuaded me to come and take a look at their Cannock branch, so I popped along one evening, and ended up joining.

The Cannock branch is determined and united on one thing - with most of them aged 60 and above, they want "young blood" in. People who will remember. People who will keep the RAFA going after they are gone.

Dave's idea was to train me up to take over his role, and also I was to be the gateway to bring in younger people from cadets - as much as I could with the rules being that no one under 18 can join.

Now, a year later, I am the Deputy Wings Officer under Joan. Three new members (family and friends) have joined.

The funding for the Battle of Britain Wings Appeal is going great, thanks to Joan. She's worked so hard trying to raise money, from bagpacks to raffles. She brings as many people as possible in to make it as public as possible.

Dave does a great deal with the Squadrons, attending as many Squadron events as he can and bringing people along. He also is trying to currently bring on two more Squadrons to our RAFA branch, making us associated with five different Squadrons in the area.

These two people do a major part of the work for our branch, and also are the ones I most interact with.

So, a couple of questions answered and a couple of photos:

What is the RAFA?
RAFA stands for the Royal Air Force Association. Its primary function is to remember those fallen in the service of the Royal Air Force and to continue supporting ex-servicemen and their families. Its website can be found here:

What is the Battle of Britain Wings Appeal?
It commemorates the Battle of Britain while raising money for ex and current servicemen and their families.

What do I do?
As the Deputy Wings Officer, I'm to try and support Joan at as many events as she creates, and also to aid in finding shops to support bagpacks or collections for the Battle of Britain Memorial Day.

Here are some photos from a normal night at our monthly meeting of the branch: