If there is one thing that Team RAFBF Lossiemouth do well it’s enjoying themselves, and when Karen announced that we did in fact need a coffee morning (with cakes), there was very little persuasion required. We all agreed, cakes were essential and Karen had yet again come up with a winning idea. Fortunately, the Dambusters 70th was to be celebrated that week and we had a lovely limited edition mug from Squadron Prints that would boost the raffle on entry sales. We just knew this would be a marvellous way of theming the event and would offer another opportunity to engage as many people as possible.
The venue was easy, a perfect space at St Aidan’s Centre meant families could meet and the Soul Food Cafe could also service the needs of those who required more than just cake to keep their day going, personally I can’t understand why two cakes wouldn’t cover that, but each to their own. Once we had a date, Debbie ensured that all was in place for the booked venue while the rest of us set about promoting and recruiting for the cake and coffee event.
A flurry of posters, relentless Facebook and Twitter posts, along with some very welcome support and promotion amongst people living and working in and around the base meant we were sure it would be reasonably attended on the day – we just love that teamwork. Now to recruit bakers; no press gang needed, there are many talented and enthusiastic folk with excellent cup cake skills up here thank goodness.
It’s true, I struggled with the black and red colour scheme of the Dambusters, my red velvet cake was a token gesture to the theme, but those who mastered it provided some incredible looking creations! Setting up the tables with all the fantastic food was enough to make my waistline groan, how was I going to resist all these beautifully turned out calories? In fact, the guilt had already driven me to bring some fruit selections as a healthy alternative, and although I wasn’t sure that would be enough to keep me from temptation, my conscience was eased. Come the opening hour the steady flow of visitors was amazing; sometimes a queue at the refill area for drinks, sometimes for the cakes, and at one point people even waiting for seats. Zee, Hannah, Karen, Debbie, and I (Bobby) worked together, joined by other volunteers , Debs, Kerry and Emma. The venue was buzzing with the people the RAF Benevolent Fund is there for; the RAF family. It was great to see uniforms, partners, civilian staff, children and single personnel all at the one event, donating eagerly and smiling. We had help from near and far (thanks Emma) and two hours of cake scoffing, tea and coffee drinking and fun.
Come the closing hour at St Aidan’s, Phase Two of Operation SEAMBUSTER was put into action. The cake drive strategy was applied and team sugar rush was deployed. Our objective was to spread the cake experience across RAF Lossiemouth and collect monies for the privilege. Many stunned people were taken by surprise as we invaded sections and tea rooms with our offerings. On such a busy unit it is to the credit of all that we were met with smiles and the donations were generous, but who wouldn’t want their daily toil interrupted by smiling ladies with tempting cake confectionery. The final stop was 51 Regiment Squadron who generously drained our stock and filled our donation bucket, we figured they would work off the calories pretty quickly.
A grand total of £384.00 was raised from this event and a big thank you is due to all involved as supporters, bakers and organisers. On reflection it’s not just the funds raised that make a difference at events like this, it’s the awareness of how the RAF can come together as a family to have fun, give support and celebrate the efforts of yesterday’s Dambusters and today’s Seambusters alike.