Squadron Leader Goodswen and Flight Lieutenant Harrap have handed over the reigns of the Station Charities Committee to Squadron Leader Hutchinson (SATCO of this parish) and Flight Lieutenant Shirley (also ATC). On behalf of the committee members and indeed the Station, our thanks to both ‘Goodsy and Paul’ for all their hard work over their tenure.

As the new Officer In Charge I thought it best I introduce myself and wanted to remind everyone of what the Station Charities Committee is all about. They say ‘Charity begins at home’ and this is indeed true of Waddington, in that it is our very own Airshow that provides the ‘pot of money’ (contrary to popular belief this is our only source of income). It is this ‘pot’ that the Committee ‘divvies up’ between the various projects and causes that approach us for help and assistance.

The Committee sits on a quarterly basis and operates to a Constitution which basically serves to keep us on the ‘straight and narrow’, ensuring we donate the money wisely and appropriately on behalf of the Station, ie YOU. A couple of the most salient points are:

• The organisation / charity asking for donations is to be locally based (requests benefiting RAF Waddington personnel and their dependants are given special consideration).
• Bids are assessed on merit and are to be in line with the Station’s Engagement Strategy.
• Items requested are to be tangible in nature (ie something you can see / touch / use) and are normally to be used on a continual basis or at least more than once.
• Individuals seeking sponsorship will not normally be considered, nor will bids from sections undertaking fund-raising events; however we may be able to support an adopted project.

Hopefully that has given you a feel for the rules we are bound by. However, the principle I have worked on all my life (one my parents can most certainly vouch for) is that ‘if you don’t ask you don’t get’ so if in doubt contact either myself, the Deputy or ask your Squadron rep to see whether your idea qualifies.

This takes me onto the subject of Squadron reps. It is vital that each section is represented on the Committee as this allows for the most balanced vote. Whilst I’m fully aware of how busy Station personnel are today and that there really aren’t enough hours in each day, it is the responsibility of each member to ensure they attend the meetings or send a suitable rep – after all if our presence on the Committee is reported on in our SJARs/OJARs, it is only right that we carry out the duty! This said I was thrilled to see so many members of the Committee there at the last meeting and I know it is thanks to them that so much has been and is still being done in the local community. Of course if anyone is interested in joining the committee please get in touch with us (but do please speak with your Squadron Line Managers first) – volunteers for this type of business are always better than pressed men!

Finally, I would just like to take this opportunity to ask you all to spare a thought for the RAF Benevolent Fund. Over recent years Help 4 Heroes has rightly been at the forefront of the minds of many of us military types, however sadly this has meant that other charities such as the RAFBF and BLESMA have lost out a little. Now I am not for one second suggesting that H4H should be forgotten, but just that there are other causes out there who are doing equally fantastic things for Service personnel and their families and who also need our support. How many of you for example knew that it was the RAFBF who provided Waddington with its new MUGA (Multiple Use Games Area), Shelter and Play Park at a cost of £119,562.13? Or that the fund is committed to providing a Station Youth Worker for Waddington for the next 3 years at a cost of £46,513.86? On the Individual level, most of us are aware that the Dependants Fund which costs 50p per month, pays out £10K within 24hrs of death to a named beneficiary (the fund made 18 payments in 2010) but one area of support that does not have much visibility is that of the DINCOME Trust.

The RAF Dependants (Income) Trust (known as DINCOME) was set up to enable subscribers to the Dependants Fund to make long-term provision for their dependants in the form of an increasing monthly income payable until the 55th anniversary of the member’s date of birth. The scheme was up-dated in 1990 and the revised format provides for the payment of a capital sum of £10,000 for each unit of benefit held plus, in the vast majority of cases, a monthly income as in the original scheme. The amount of income payable varies according to the age at which a subscriber joins and dies. Currently, each unit of benefit costs £3.50 per month (£2.30 for those under 20 years of age) and, like the Dependants Fund grant; payments are completely free of all forms of tax.
If you would like further details of the scheme contact your HR Staff.

Well that’s my plug over with so thanks for reading and remember the Station Charities Committee is there to support our local community in its quest to improve quality of life.
Some of the bids supported by Station Charities over the last 6 months:

• Centurian Fundraiser – £250 to purchase protective floor matting
• Lincoln Hospital – £500 for Christmas toy donation
• Lincolnshire Bombers Football Team – £300 for purchase of leather match balls
• RAF Waddington Youth Club – £540 for purchase of a table Football and X-box Kinect.
• Teddy Bears’ Day Nursey – £1960 for purchase of Outdoor Play Area

With a further £5200 pledged at this month’s meeting for various local projects, details which will be included in the next edition of Insight.