RAFA? BUT THAT’S FOR OLD BLOKES ISN’T IT?
Its amazes me the number of times I hear the title of this article when I mention joining a local RAFA branch.
As the years go by and personnel leave the RAF, situations change, we no longer have PSF, the Medical Centre, free dentistry, affordable housing and the myriad of support that is provided to us on a daily basis. Suddenly we are out in the big wide-world, and at times your local RAFA branch may well be a help when times become difficult, and a link to a period of your life which was important to you. The problem today is that many of our branches are struggling for younger members and, without them, they will close. RAFA branches are not just a social club for the “old and bold” to reminisce about their halcyon days in RAFG and Cyprus. Branches are committed to raising funds for the Wings Appeal, working with the Air Training Corps and most importantly assisting ex RAF Service personnel who have fallen on hard times with financial and pastoral support, and yes, getting together to socialise and keep active. For personnel at Coningsby we have a RAFA Liaison Officer (RAFALO) committee, which meets Monthly and supports the branches at Boston, Coningsby, Mablethorpe and Spalding. The branches are active and meet monthly. If you are interested in joining your local branch it couldn’t be easier, go to the RAF webpage at www.rafa.org.uk and follow the links. Alternatively contact the Station Senior RAFALO Flt Lt Steve Micklewright or one of the RAFALOs listed below:
WO Kenny Watson, SWO.
SAC Jess Wallett, Int Cell.
Flt Lt Simon Davies, 41 Sqn.
Flt Sgt Hadgraft, QCIT.
Cpl Marris, 3(F) Sqn.
Sgt Kev Wynn, LS.
Cpl Helen McCutcheon, LS.
The Committee is always looking for personnel to assist with organising branch visits to the Station as well as taking on the role of RAFALOs in our local community. Last year our team attended conferences in Blackpool, collected for the Wings appeal at Skegness, organised a four branch social function including a quiz and hosted the regional welfare officers seminar here in the Wratten Suite.
RAFA is an organisation which, along with the Benevolent Fund, is important to Ex RAF Personnel. Don’t let your local branch die out this year, the 70th anniversary of the RAFA. Give one night a month, a few hours of your time could make the difference, support your local branch and help make a difference.