Airplay Is A Real Draw

To mark Remembrance (or Poppy time) this year, the RAF Benevolent Fund launched an art competition for all the young people who are participating in its Airplay programme. Offering a money prize to the stations which produced the best three images, young people from RAF Waddington threw themselves enthusiastically into the challenge!

The competition developed to raise awareness that November continues to be the season of Remembrance was used to highlight that this is the time of year when we remember the men and women of the Armed Forces, past and present.

The RAF Benevolent Fund is the charity which is funding the Airplay project on RAF stations. It is the RAF’s leading welfare charity and is there to provide support to everyone who is serving in the RAF and their families too. This competition and the level of interest it caused with the Youth Club at RAF Waddington only highlights how much difference the RAF Benevolent Fund continues to make to currently RAF families and their children.

Over a number of weeks, the Station youth work staff met with young people and looked at why we should remember those who have served within the Armed Forces past and present. In considering what role the Armed Forces play in defending our country, young people looked at what makes the RAF different to the other Services, who they look up to in the RAF and what they like about living on an RAF station.

Following hours of discussion, practice and much creativity, a large number of entries from young people, made it through to the judging panel for consideration. With much celebration and excitement, RAF Waddington was delighted to hear that Jessica Hulton from the RAF Waddington Junior Youth Club had been awarded second place overall in the competition.

On Wednesday 1 February 2012, Mr Geoff Ware, the region al representative from the RAF Benevolent Fund, together with Wing Commander Jayne Casebury, Officer Commanding Base Support Wing, were on hand to present a cheque for £300 to Jessica and the RAF Waddington Youth Club,. The prize, although won by Jessica, will go into ‘airplay’ funds on Stn and can be used for the benefit of any young people attending the project. No doubt the effort that will go in to discussing how the money will be spent will be just as hotly debated as deciding what to draw for the competition or how the judges decided upon the prize winners.

In recognition that Jessica’s prize would be used for the benefit of many, the RAF Benevolent Fund also generously donated a personal prize of an RAF teddy to Jessica to commemorate her individual success.

Overall this was an excellent initiative by the RAF Benevolent Fund, it certainly captured the imagination of the young people at RAF Waddington Youth Club, provided Airplay youth workers with an opportunity to work with young people on an emotive but enjoyable subject and will we all hope, go some way to remind people and raise awareness in others that the season of Remembrance is an important time to remember the men and women of the Armed Forces and in particular those of the Royal Air Force, both past and present.

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