It has been a very busy summer for all within the Catering, Retail and Leisure team at RAF Coningsby with major events such as the Funny Fokkers Comedy Show plus a sprinkling of charity events and football tournaments in the mix for good measure.

Way back in May, Catering Flight Personnel and civilians joined together in a day of teamwork to commemorate the passing of WO Neil Lloyd, whilst also raising a fantastic amount for charity. Catering Flight Personnel decided that their charity of choice would be ‘Headway: The Brain Injury Association’ who undertake research into such accidents and provided support to WO Lloyd’s family in the aftermath of his tragic passing in a road traffic accident.

The whole flight pulled together to cycle the distance from RAF Coningsby to Paris and back – a total of 822 miles – on static bikes, followed by an evening of trying to numb the pain of our sore legs in the bar! One-hour long stints on the bikes were completed by all those involved, with special mention to SAC’s Sam Smith, Josh Spencer and Craig Johnson who all broke the 40km barrier. To everyone’s delight, especially those who were due to take part in the final few hours, we completed our target well ahead of time. This was down to the phenomenal effort by all of those who cycled – the pace was certainly not leisurely.

The fundraising continued in to the evening with a charity leg wax and karaoke in the Heroes Bar, washed down nicely with vodka jellies sold by SAC Laura Ward. In total, an amazing £765.24 was raised for the charity. Although the most important aspect of the day was to raise as much money as possible for the charity, it was also great to see so many of the Flight pulling together and having fun!

The Heroes Bar was also the venue for the inaugural Funny Fokkers Comedy Tour at RAF Coningsby which saw television comedians Terry Alderton and Paul Tonkinson gracing the stage. RAF Coningsby was the only station on the national tour which sold out all of their tickets before the doors opened, and this was reflected in the feedback of the comedians who both commented that it had been one of the best shows they had done. After compere Chris Gilbert warmed up the crowd and set the tone for the evening, Paul Tonkinson’s set was well appreciated by the crowd. His ‘interesting’ views on marriage, parenthood and the general pitfalls of family life made for a hilarious act and at the interval everyone was eager to see what Terry would add to the mix. His contribution to the evening turned out to be a large amount of abuse fired at the Officers and Pilots combined with freakishly accurate aviation noises and spontaneous rapping; quite an eclectic mix but one that went down a storm with the audience. Even the Sqn Ldrs on the front row seemed to be enjoying the banter! The smooth running of the Comedy Tour and the excellent feedback was testament to the blood, sweat and even a few tears that were poured in to the evening from everyone on the organising team.

The Retail and Leisure teams have also been excelling at a National Level. Bapmobile Driver Julie Mitchell was nominated for the ISS Apple Awards – a national recognition scheme for those individuals whose performance makes an exceptional difference to their business. Julie was chosen as the Apple Award winner for June 2013 and wins a new Ipod as recognition of her hard work. Mr Jim Howarth, ISS General Manager nominated Julie for this national award and explained “Julie has recognised the challenges of our customers and has tailored her round to meet their needs. The availability of the offer is important to the success of the service, and Julie never takes the easy option, always ensuring replenishment is done and the best range possible is available for all of our customers. The Bapmobile has seen income almost treble since Julie took on the role and this is directly down to her willingness to give the customer what they want.”

In addition to this, the RAF Coningsby SPAR shop also came first in a National level competition run by Camelot to see which shop could run the best promotion of the Euromillions UK Raffle Draw. Lisa Jack’s team led the way in this promotion, with their hard work, friendly demeanour and excellent rapport with their customers earning them the prize. The girls have been rewarded with a well deserved cheque which after much deliberation they have decided to use to treat the SPAR team to an evening of cream teas at the Petwood Hotel so that everyone can share in the glory.

PHOTOGRAPH: The award winning BAPMOBILE! Diner, diner, diner, diner, diner, diner, diner