Team RAFBF Lossiemouth

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2015 – Our Year of Fun, Fundraising and Friends

2015 has been an incredibly busy year for Team RAFBF Lossiemouth. From April right through to December we were active with our own events and attending other events within the community whilst also supporting ongoing fundraising efforts by local supporters.

Throughout the year, XV(R) Sqn have been fundraising for the Fund, aiming to raise £15,000 as part of their golf (4)100th Anniversary celebrations and we have been thrilled to be able to cheer them along at various events, including their12046962_523043424563291_7422247394089923397_n 100 Rounds of Golf challenge, the Lossiethon and their Friends & Family afternoon. Their efforts have been amazing and we can’t wait for the final total to be announced early next year.


quiznight-BenElephantFanClubOur fundraising year started, as it usually does, in April with a collection to celebrate the RAF’s birthday on the first of the month. This year we held a bucket collection in the communal areas around the station including the Combined and Officers’ Mess, which was followed by a quiz night in the Beach Bar with our ever popular quizmaster, Stuart Smylie. Both events successfully kicked off our year of fundraising by adding just over £600 to our ongoing total.London (2)
Also in April, Pauline and I were proud to attend The RAF Benevolent Fund Awards in London, as our team had been nominated in the best fundraising team category. It was a fantastic opportunity to meet some inspiring people and hear stories of challenges and fundraising carried out by supporters and beneficiaries of the Fund. Whilst there, Pauline and I took the opportunity to visit the Bomber Command Memorial which is maintained by the RAFBF. It is a wonderfully evocative memorial and a very peaceful place to say thank you to so many who have given up their lives for ours.

May saw us attend our first event, the annual vintage rally day held in Forres. This event is always a little chilly and sometimes a bit wet, but then we Scottish fundraisers are uc2csponors (1)sed to that and it’s always a great way to brush up on our banter for the year ahead. Charlotte led a great day, but with poor weather, only £86 was raised.  Our little fundraising team came of age in 2015 when we c2csponors (1)organised and carried out our very own challenge event. Starting birth as a nugget of an idea in a madman’s head, Cairngorm to Coast grew into a gruelling 66 mile hike and bike challenge from Cairngorm to RAF Lossiemouth.

Not daunted by our laac-rental-logock of experience, our enthusiasm and thirst for learning enabled uDallas Designs Logos to put on the first event of this kind in Moray. We were thrilled and overwhelmed with the support we received from Outfit Moray, Bike Revolution, Windswept Brewing Company, Dallas Designs and Arnold Clark van hire in Elgin. Without their support, we wouldn’t have been able to put the event on. The day itsec2csponors (2)lf was perfect as far as weather conditions went, with sunshine and light winds but the challenge turned out to be far more punishing than anyone imagined, with only two people completing the whole event and four others managing to reach the finish line, having been swept up from before the halfway c2c (8)change over point. C2C 15 was most definitely a practice run and we are already in the depths of planning for C2C 16 which includes a change of route and a gold, silver and bronze entry option. Thanks to the generous support of our sponsors we raised £5000 for the RAF Benevolent Fund, which we hope to match in 2016.

Armed Forces Day is celebrated every year in June and this year we were invited to attend the parade in Keith. Armed Forces Day is always a lovely opportunity for us to meet up with fellow military fun11141148_482618175272483_4915199129428368989_ndraisers and to catch up with our local Cadet Squadrons who are always great 1507677_482620488605585_2851142086012287900_nsupporters of the fund. Despite a medical emergency, which saw a member of our team being attended to by the Red Cross ambulance crew (Rob Cox cut his finger on a coconut and deemed himself unfit for duties until he had been patched), the day was a success with over £260 being made. Our tent was also turned in to a hospital tent while we offered shade to the various cadets who were overcome with the heat whilst on parade. Thankfully we had lots of sweet chocolate bars on hand to help them recover.

There was no rest for the wicked as an extremely busy July started off with a bang at RAF Lossiemouth Family and Friends Day. Blazing sunshine and a stiff breeze left Pauline, Charlotte, Stew, Craig and Sam slightly singed around the edges but they did raise around £200, which seems a fair exchange! The following weekend Stew, Mel, Craig and Charlotte attended our first Seafest 11695894_491110034423297_5215563988886661675_n (1)Lossiemo11403373_488666674667633_2868551443025200223_nuth event which drew in the local crowds thanks to some lovely sunny weather. As usual our coconut shy elicited much amusement among young and old and we managed to raise just under £200. The team was delighted when the Fund’s Edinburgh office asked us if we would like to attend the East Fortune Airshow on their behalf and so it was with much excitement that Pauline, Charlotte, Craig, Rob and I headed off for an adventure in Edinburgh at the end of July. Stew met us there on the day and we were soon set up with our 2015-07-25 09.51.12merchandise and coconut shy. With so many children (and grown-ups) to amuse, Ben Elephant was in high demand and very popular with all our visitors. We were also thrilled to be joined by Elizabeth Hall and her gorgeous vintage Singer Le Mans, Chattie, as part of her “Where They Served” tour in memory of her father. Our excitement was almost 2015-07-25 19.16.55uncontainable when we discovered we had brought in just over £1000 for the Fund, even the Red Arrows could not beat that! It was a quick tidy up and a long trip back Wheretheyserved (2)home ready to meet up with Elizabeth and Chattie at RAF Lossiemouth the next day for her tour of the station and a visit with II (AC) Sqn and Spookworks. It really was an honour to have been part of Elizabeth’s mammoth journey and we do wish her all the very best.


As fast as July ended, August began with the Lossiemouth raft race on the first weekend of the month. This is always one of our most favourite events to attend, being the biggest on our “home pa2015-08-02 12.59.37tch”, plus the weather always seems to be good! A strong offshore wind hampered our brave LOS-OFFICIAL-20150802-0615-193entrants, but the victory Trophy was proudly taken by the RAF Lossiemouth Police Dog section, with our friends, The Spitfire Sirens, winning best dressed. All in all it was a very successful day with Charlotte, Mel, Rob and I, along with Dave working hard, we were able to add another £250 to our total for the Benevolent Fund. To finish August off, we held our own great British 2015-08-23 14.21.44Sunday Lunch themed barbecue at the Beach Bar in Lossiemouth. The weather gods were well and truly on our side and gave us beaming sunshine from beginning to end, encouraging many people to come down for a burger and a drink and to say thank you to all those who took part in the Battle of Britain 75 years ago. Their generosity meant the day raised over £650 which will go towards helping our veterans, young and old.


The year may have been drawing out but we continued to work hard and in September we were thrilled to be part of Sean Allerton’s Push 500 challenge when he did a 24 hour push at RAF Lossiemouth. Sean was well hosted by 51 Squadron and joined by local Paralympian curler, Jim Gault, as well as cadets from 446 (Forres) ATC Squadron and various members of RAF Lossiemouth. It was great to have first-hand experience of Sean’s ongoing personal fundraising challenge and we look forward to seeing him again in 2016. Hot on the heels of Sean’s push, it was straight into RAF Lossiemouth’s healthy working lives event on the following Monday, where we, along with various sections on station including The Hive, Clay Pigeon Shooting Club, Ski Club, Karting Team, Ped Flight, helped LochNess (2)prLochNess (4)omote health and welfare on the Station. Perhaps not healthy but certainly good for welfare, we held our second Great British Sunday lunch event that Saturday. This time held it was in the Combined Mess at RAF Lossiemouth and was kindly hosted and served by Catering Squadron who provided a delicious full Sunday roast followed by home-made desserts. We are always so grateful when ISS and personnel from RAF Lossiemouth get involved in fundraising and were delighted when their Sunday lunch raised yet another £200 for the LochNess (1)Fund. We hardly had time to let our lunches settle before we were heading off to Inverness to the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon running festival. This was the first year the Benevolent Fund had chosen the Baxters LocLochNess (3)h Ness Marathon as one of their annual challenge events, so it was great to be there alongside our Regional Fundraisers from Edinburgh rather than being by myself! It was a lovely sunny day which helped all our runners happily complete their respective races, including committee members; Charlotte, Craig and Pauline who took part in the 5k.

October saw us launching our Grand Raffle, which we felt was aptly named, with the top prizes coming from Thales, Outfit Moray and Windswept Brewing. We were confident of good ticket sales and, as alwa12112204_521758084691825_3129786555595094717_nys, we were delighted and thrilled with the level of support from our brilliant friends and local companies, and were able to offer a long list of desirable prizes, worthy of any grand raffle!

12208778_525595437641423_7972282002523363485_nWhen other fundraising teams may have been thinking about slowing down, we were still working hard; selling raffle tickets, attending local events and generally just being busy! November started with a talk at Elgin Rotary Club, where I went along with Mick McConnell, an RAFBF beneficiary, who recounted his life changing injury in Afghanistan. Mick was joined by his bomb disposal dog, Memphis, who had been at his side during the incident and who had now retired, along with Mick, to the sunny shores of Moray with the help of the RAF Benevolent Fund. That weekend we set out our stall at our local Co-op to sell our raffle tickets and then there was a 12301543_700642263369979_4708274095003995903_n couple of weeks’ grace before two long weeks of manic effort before we could finally put our feet up! In the last week of November I popped along to a ladies’ coffee morning and evening in the Officers’ Mess, Mel supported RAF Lossiemouth’s PEd Flight’s 24 hour fund12309952_531655933702040_2243212727087143426_oraising fitness challenge, Craig attended MT Section’s winter vehicle check (where they were raising funds for the RAFBF) Mel and Sam were at the Lossiemouth Christmas lights switch on with merchandise and, finally, Stew, Mel, Joanne and I spent the day at our local Tesco selling raffle tickets and merchandise.

There was no rest for the wicked as it was straight in to a local primary school Christmas Fayre where Sam, Pauline and 12316168_532261753641458_5505840327687677415_nCharlotte sold raffle tickets, a thank you lunch hosted by the RAFBF for XV(R) Sqn members and other local supporters of the Fund before our own Christmas quiz night at the Beach Bar. As always, our quiz night was well attended and thoroughly enjoyed by all with Mel, Rob and myself being on the winning 2015-12-05 20.44.08team! I can assure you, the Windswept Brewing beer prizes were well appreciated by that point and the quiz itself raised £155 as well as a large amount towards our grand raffle total. So finally it was time for our last fundraising task of 2015; the grand raffle draw. We must say a hearty thanks to the members of XV(R) Sqn who helped with the draw and everyone who purchased tickets. Huge congratulations to all 12376447_536382689896031_6014867401208840320_nour winners and thank you for helping us raise £1375 for the RAFBF. To round off a successful year, Mel, Rob and I attended the SNCOs’ & WOs’ Mess’ Christmas Quiz, where they had kindly chosen the RAF Benevolent Fund as their charity of the night raising just short of £80.

So what did 2015 mean to us? It was an incredible year; full of fun people and fundraising, just how we like it! It also meant £14081.29 for the RAF Benevolent Fund, bringing our grand total to just under £39k since Nov 2012, which makes us incredibly proud. Thank you to every single one of you who has been part of our brilliant year, we can’t wait to see what 2016 brings.

Finally, Team RAFBF Lossiemouth and I would like to wish all our friends, fellow fundraisers, RAFBF supporters and all RAF personnel past and present and their families very happy New Year and we wish you health and happiness the 2016.

Karen Cox, Chairman


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Rallying Support for RAF Benevolent Fund

Squadron Leader Craig Teasdale’s arrival at RAF Lossiemouth least year as OC 4 Squadron, RAF Police not only brought 14 10931110_790463434352960_1107888773313286014_nyears of Police and Security expertise to Morayshire but it also added a turbo charged Subaru Impreza Rally Car, as part of the RAF Rally Team.  Craig is three times RAF Champion and is keen to promote motorsports in the local area and encourage newcomers to the world of motorsport.

In his blog, Craig tells us more about his team, Spookworks, and his connection with the RAF Benevolent Fund through Team RAFBF Lossiemouth.

“Motorsport is very popular in the RAF. As a technical service, the teaming up of man and machine in competition seems an obvious extension of our normal operational roles and natural interests. There is more than a little overlap between the two worlds.”

spookworks (1)Motorsport in the RAF is a recognised sport run by the RAF Motorsports Association (RAFMSA) and open to everyone in the RAF. There is every possible variation of motorsport available, from rallying to karting, circuit racing to motor cross. If it’s got four wheels or two wheels it’s covered and there is always someone who can help you get started in whatever takes your interest. RAF Lossiemouth even has its own Motorsports Club.

Motorsport also provides an excellent outlet for those who feel the ‘need for speed’. With my police hat on I know that it is impossible to deny that some people enjoy the feeling of speed. But speeding on the road is extremely spookworks (4)dangerous and can cause accidents with horrific consequences. Shocking statistics show Service personnel are twice as likely to be killed in a road accident than civilians. Motorsport provides the perfect opportunity for people to enjoy going fast in a controlled and relatively safe environment with events, equipment and vehicles specifically designed for this purpose. The public road is not a place for speed and should be seen as part of an integrated national transport infrastructure only designed to get people from A to B. The public road is not a racetrack.

1186745_597388130327159_652419351_nA long time supporter of the RAF Benevolent Fund, I am joining up Team RAFBF Lossiemouth to help raise the profile of charity in the motorsports world. When I am asked spookworks (2)why, I simply tell people that it’s great opportunity to enjoy my passion but do something for a very worthy cause at the same time. I know people who have received fantastic support by the fund so it’s great to help put something back – even it is just a sticker on the car. Everything helps.

Craig Teasdale

10325235_653384634727508_7600528079652232319_nWhilst at RAF Lossiemouth, Craig intends to compete in the 2015 Scottish Rally Championship, so look out for more from the Spookworks team this year! You can follow their adventures on their Facebook page or Twitter.Rockingham2014 (789)

Thank you to Spookworks and Mark Rawling for the use of their images!


Hello 2015!

Goodness me is it 2015 already! I can’t believe we are starting our third year of fundraising for the RAF Benevolent Fund. It’s amazing just how much time has flown, but then we have had so much fun with everything we have done and met some incredible people; it’s not surprising it flies by.

2014 was a year filled with incredible challenges by some of our supporters, including a climb up Ben Nevis, a four day River Spey Challenge and a 7 day motorbike challenge around the UK! How can anyone possibly top that in 2015?

IMG_20140626_122344 final tattoo

With all these amazing challenges and plenty of other events, we ended 2014 having raised just over £24,800 for the RAFBF, with £17,000 of that being raised in 2014. This is only the amount we have been involved in as a team, and doesn’t include all the other fabulous fundraising that happened at RAF Lossiemouth, including personal and group challenges as well as station fundraising.

It’s not long before we will be able to say we have reached £25,000 – what a fantastic total to have raised!

So with the last of the decorations being tidied away, the turkey a distant memory and the odour of sprouts finally lifting, it’s on with 2015. We are already getting our Cadet ducks in a row for this year’s fundraising and aim to start with a coffee morning in March, before a busy April for RAF97, but more of that nearer the time.  We are also planning a summer challenge, will be supporting a team entering the Baxters River Ness 10k and hopefully some amazing marathon runners! If you would like to take part, please do get in touch!


some of the 10k runners


10k Team


5k Team





jon_nixon_contentWe will also be supporting Wing Commander Jon Nixon, OC XV(R) Sqn as he trains for and completes his first marathon in London this year.  The squadron will also be taking on a year of fundraising events for the RAF Benevolent Fund as part of their 100th anniversary celebrations.  15_Squadron_RAFYou can read more about their planned adventures on their website.  We would like to wish Jon and his whole squadron the very best of luck and send a huge thank you for their amazing support!

Life in the Royal Air Force is ever evolving and because of that we had to say goodbye to several committee members, including Hannah Saunders, Bobby Keeling, Kerry Morris and Zee Fletcher due to changes in locations.  We also said cheerio to Debbie Tulip and Ally Carle, who needed to free up some personal time.   However, all is not lost and the committee continues to evolve and grow and currently stands at:

Karen Cox, Pauline Evans, Craig Chrossan, Mark Ratcliffe, Dave Thorne, Louis Devenny, Mel Waters, Charlotte Robinson, Jordan Ray, Stuart Smylie and Stew Macintyre.

MoneyclipcompTo start the year off with a bit of fun, we are running a competition over on our Facebook page  where you can win a beautifully hand-crafted money clip from our local friends Harrison & Bond .

Simply like and share the photo and answer a simple question to be in with a chance!

So that’s a quick update to say hello for 2015 and we will be back shortly with more news! Thank you for taking the time to read our blog!


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RAF Way Round: FS Mark Ratcliffe – “The Well-Polished Biker”

On the 1st September, four personnel from RAF Lossiemouth will begin their epic, 3,000 mile journey around 39 MOD bases across the UK, finishing just seven days later at the Highland Military Tattoo. They hope to raise £10,000 for the RAF Benevolent Fund, the RAF’s leading welfare charity. If you would like to join them on their adventure around the UK, please visit their Facebook Events page.

FS Mark Ratcliffe was the first to sign up for the challenge after SAC Jack Yardley chatted to him about the idea back in 2012 and is also a member of the Team RAFBF Lossiemouth Committee.  Here, Mark tell us a bit more about himself and why he is taking part.

RAF WR-3963I am FS Mark Ratcliffe, Libra and a Survival Equipment Fitter in the Royal Air Force, which I joined in September 1983.

I started Biking in 2003 and my first bike was  Honda VFR750FN (in red). I swapped this for a 2001 Yamaha R6 ( in red), kept it for 4 years. When I was in Germany, I  purchased my current bike. I now ride a sleek, black Yamaha R1. 2014-08-25 17.11.17

I have undertaken some form of charity event almost every year since 1998, when an old boss (who was struggling to get support for a children in need event) said ” life is like a bucket of water, and if everyone takes a cup of water out, and no one puts any back, the bucket will soon be empty”.

Why the RAF Benevolent Fund? Well after 32 years Service, it’s time I paid something back into the RAF Bucket.

10401939_10152483291647969_2284715107111887960_nI am looking forward to the Highland Military Tattoo at Fort George, what a way to end an epic trip.

The worst that can happen is us running out of deep heat, Diclofenic and Man-Up pills.

To join the ride or follow the RAF Way Round story, follow them on Facebook or Twitter

To donate, please visit their Just Giving Page

Our amazing sponsors

Our amazing sponsors

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RAF Way Round: SAC Jack Yardley – “The Idea Man”

On the 1st September, four personnel from RAF Lossiemouth will begin their epic, 3,000 mile journey around 39 MOD bases across the UK, finishing just seven days later at the Highland Military Tattoo. They hope to raise £10,000 for the RAF Benevolent Fund, the RAF’s leading welfare charity. If you would like to join them on their adventure around the UK, please visit their Facebook Events page.

SAC Jack Yardley was the man behind the idea and in his blog he tells us more about himself and why he wanted to do this challenge.

Hi I am SAC Jack Yardley, I joined the RAF 5 years ago and am a Survival Equipment Fitter at RAF Lossiemouth.

2014-08-25 17.04.28My dad used to be a dispatch rider from the early 80’s until the late 90’s. He was always mad about bikes and was keen to pass his enthusiasm on to myself and my brother. After having to sell on the motocross he’d bought us when I was about 7, I  didn’t get back into bikes until a lot later. I first did my CBT on a freezing cold day in January 2012, and bought my first bike from our sponsor (Pulse Adrenaline 125 supermoto) brand new, off the shop floor, in March later that year, only to crash it three days later. After an expensive repair bill and many miles later I was totally hooked on bikes and decided to do my full license. After 4 attempts (yep, 4!) O managed to pass my test on the 28th of December 2012. Since then I have had a Mk1 Suzuki Bandit 600 (regrettably swapped for a tatty GSXR) a 98 Suzuki GSXR 600 SRAD ( sold when I discovered the sump plug had been araldited in!) and I now own a 99 Suzuki SV650.

SAC Jack Yardley

SAC Jack Yardley

People ask why I came up with this challenge.  It’s something totally different to what you see done by lots of other fundraisers. You always see lots of people doing 10k runs, marathons etc. but this is something wholly different.

Most people aren’t really aware of what the RAFBF actually does and where they can help, they just see it as another deduction from their payslip and I’ll admit I was one of those when we initially came up with this challenge.  By taking on this adventure, we are hoping to let more people know about the RAFBF and the great work they do.

2014-06-13 19.36.03What am I looking forward to the most? Riding my bike every day for 7 days solid and getting to meet up with some old mates at other camps that I  haven’t seen since leaving training, not to mention getting to go to places I’d never see in my trade.

Looking forward to the least? The long, boring motorway mile run we have to do on the last day to get us back to Fort George.

To join the ride or follow the RAF Way Round story, follow them on Facebook or Twitter
To donate, please visit their Just Giving Page

Our amazing sponsors

Our amazing sponsors

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The Sweet Taste of Fundraising

We were absolutely delighted to have raised £921.54 for RAF96 here at RAF Lossiemouth and are even more excited about just how varied the fundraising was!

To kick off RAF96 we held a collection at the RAF Lossiemouth main gate, raising £355.01 during a chilly and frantic hour at rush hour on 1st April, the RAF’s birthday.



Elgin City Football Club kindly allowed us to hold a collection during one of their home games and despite a biting wind and an extremely cold crowd, they donated a lovely £41.11.  Our Station Chaplaincy Centre held a collection,adding  £19.32 to our kitty and our Easter Animal Hunt around the shops of Lossiemouth  popped a further £36 into the RAF96 total, with a very happy Marc Macphail winning an Easter Egg.

Marc MacphailElgin City Collection  Chaplaincy Centre (1)

Our RAF Benevolent Fund funded RAF Lossiemouth Child Care Centre held a red, white and blue party with £126.50 being raised on the day and a Temple Chef night with good friends brought in another £30.00

Childcare Centre (1) Childcare Centre (5) Temple Chef (6)

Local supporter Jo Morrin donated £73 through her Neal’s Yard consultancy connections and has promised continued support through her Neal’s Yard parties! Husband and wife team, Cheryl and Chris Fox organised a kids’ party on station and made a fabulous £137 for RAFBF through entry fees and a massive tombola.

SAC(T) Chris Fox and Cheryl Fox

All these diverse events made for a very exciting and different April for us, but perhaps the most exciting of all was to have our very own RAF96 ice cream! Fochabers Ice Cream Parlour’s owner and ice cream creator extraordinaire, Sheila Gray, very kindly invented a three coloured ice cream to represent the RAF Benevolent Fund logo. The sublime and tasty combination of blue moon (type of vanilla) and cherry cola made it too good to resist which, thankfully, many didn’t and it proved very popular. Of course as representatives, we had to pop in and buy some ………. on more than one occasion! It only seemed fair!

Fochabers Ice Cream Parlour  (2) Fochabers Ice Cream Parlour  (3) Fochabers Ice Cream Parlour  (4)

Available throughout the whole of April, the ice cream generated a lot of interest on Twitter and Facebook, giving the added bonus of great social media interaction for Team RAFBF Lossiemouth, Fochabers Ice Cream Parlour and the RAFBF, raising the profile of all three of us.

It’s the connection to wonderful small, local companies like this that makes fundraising around Lossiemouth so much fun and we are extremely grateful to Sheila for her support and donation of £100 towards our RAF96 total.

Whilst our RAF96 ice cream may be a thing of the past, Sheila’s Belgium Chocolate ice cream is very much a flavour of today as are her many wonderful creations, so what are you waiting for! They are also currently among the top 10 Scottish ice cream parlours in the Daily Records Gold Cone Awards and we wish them the best of luck in the judging! You can find out more by following them on Facebook  and Twitter or simply visiting their shop at  33-35 High St, Fochabers, Morayshire IV32 7DX.

Fochabers Ice Cream Parlour  (1) 429703_360684337305748_1077882416_n

So that’s RAF96 all done and dusted but we have some great ideas to carry forward to RAF97 and can’t wait to see who else we can get involved! Thank you to everyone for all your support and for enabling us to raise such a wonderful amount locally.

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We’re Bringing our Party to the RAF96 Party

raf96-posterMarch is nearly over and April is just around the corner which can mean only one thing? It’s time to party for RAF96 and we are really excited! We  have been working hard to make sure there is plenty happening around RAF Lossiemouth to celebrate the RAF’s 96th birthday and to raise funds for the RAF Benevolent Fund during April.


There is a lot of support for the RAF Benevolent Fund locally, our community is closely bound with the Royal Air Force, which became very apparent in November 2010 when the local population marched in support of the RAF staying at Lossiemouth. 

Courtesy of Daily Record  Courtesy of Moray Task Force

The RAF Benevolent Fund is the RAF’s leading welfare charity and helps out serving and ex serving personnel, as well as their families, who account for a large percentage of the population locally. There are large areas of service family accommodation in Elgin and here at Lossiemouth, with service families are well-integrated as children attend Primary and Secondary schools and spouses work locally, as well as supporting the voluntary sector.

009__001__club_crests__Elgin__1276179379_standardWe are thrilled with the involvement of local organisations for RAF96, including Elgin City Football Club, who have very kindly agreed to let us hold a collection during their home match on 5th April. We are extremely grateful for their support and just hope the supporters are feeling equally generous on the day!

41032_140412702666247_1556722_nSometimes, something comes along that has us jumping up and down in excitement and the opportunity to have our very own RAFBF ice cream is one of them.  Sheila from Fochabers Ice Cream Parlour has very kindly agreed to make a bespoke ice cream, which will be available during April.   There are many hardships to fundraising and the hardest so far will most definitely be having to taste ice cream, but we will put on our big girl pants (probably all that will fit us afterwards) and get on with it.  Roll on April!

Easter Animal Hunt SampleDuring the Easter Holidays, Lossiemouth shops have kindly agreed to take part in our Easter Animal Hunt and we have placed animals in ten shop windows around the town.  Entry sheets are purchased locally and children have to “hunt” out and identify the animals and then work out the word the first letter of each spells.  This is the second year we have done the animal hunt, following great feedback last year with everyone saying they had enjoyed finding new local shops to frequent. 

Here on base we have a few activities planned for RAF96. Firstly, our Chaplaincy Centre will be holding a collection on 29th and 30th March and then on 1st April there will be a gate collection at the main gate of RAF Lossiemouth. Personnel will be “hi-jacked” on their way into work and their pockets emptied – well ok, we will be a bit nicer than that, but you get the idea!  Gate Collection Advert

There are also a few organised events, including a Zumbathon, kids’ party and a “Temple Chef” night, which will blend the delights of Pampered Chef cooking demonstrations with soothing Temple Spa treatments.  The RAF Lossiemouth Childcare Centre, provided by the RAF Benevolent Fund, are also holding a few fundraising activities including a cake bake and sale and a coin toss.

Local consultants for Temple Spa and Neal’s Yard have also volunteered to donate a percentage of their party sales and raffle proceeds during April to the RAFB Benevolent Fund.

So that’s what we are bringing to the party ………….. what are you doing?  Visit the RAF Benevolent Fund website and find out how you can celebrate RAF96 and raise funds for the RAF’s leading welfare charity at the same time.

Follow the RAFBF on Facebook and Twitter.

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Flippin’ Good Start to 2014

RAFBF Pancake DayWell that’s our first fundraiser for 2014 done and dusted and what a better way to start the year than with pancakes on Shrove Tuesday?!

It was all the brainchild and hard work of Stu Wright, who is the manager of the Soul Food Café at St Aidan’s Centre, RAF Lossiemouth.  Stu had wanted to organise a fundraiser that would be a bit of fun, but that would also bring people into the Café and help support the work of CESSAC (Church Of England Soldiers’, Sailors’ and Airmen’s Clubs) at the same time.

After a day of preparation, Stu and his wife Elly were  more than ready and raring to go come 8am on the Tuesday morning.  With one hundred and twenty two pancakes ready to sell, as well as two batches of home-made soup, Stu was more than equipped to feed the starving masses of RAF Lossiemouth!

P1010352 RAFBF Pancake Day

Our first customers of the day were the very keen and prompt Harris family.  Wing Commander Harris joined his family for a gathering around delicious pancakes; where both young and old (sorry Marie and Shaun) enjoyed their morning treat. P1010351

Acting Station Commander, Wing Commander Sean Orr, was another early customer and happily posed for photographs whilst trying to eat his pancake while it was still warm. Sean brought the rest of his office in with him in support and this was one occasion on which they were happy to follow the boss along.

RAFBF Pancake Day

Soon the crowds were starting to gather and before tables were at a premium and there wasn’t a seat left in the house. The smell of pancakes  drifting on the morning air was clearly luring people in from all over the base!

P1010359 P1010370 P1010369 P1010363

Before long, the Café was filled with the mixed chatter of both serving personnel and families, with children running around excitedly brandishing their RAFBF balloons and inflatable aircraft, fuelled on pancakes and syrup!

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We had a small raffle on offer and tickets were generously purchased (despite some dubious looking prizes). Our RAFBF merchandise stall also proved popular, with our inflatable aircraft and “remove before flight” key rings both selling well.  We sold a fantastic £72 worth of stock, which was brilliant considering the small event.  

RAFBF Pancake Day

11am saw the change over from pancakes to soup and the lunch time crowd started to fill the seats left empty once all the pancakes had been eaten.  With two delicious flavours of home-made soup to choose from with the choice of hand-made sandwiches to complement, everyone was soon happily tucking into a fulfilling lunch. 

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As the visitors left, we began the task of counting up and were delighted to have raised £100 in raffle ticket sales and donations.  This amount was enhanced by the very generous donation of £140 from CESSAC which was half of the profits from the day’s takings, meaning both charities were well supported.

This event was the first outing for our new committee members, Ally and Craig and we would like to say well done for coping so well on their first event.

RAFBF Pancake Day RAFBF Pancake Day

Our heartfelt thanks go to Stu for his hard work and CESSAC for their permission to hold the fundraiser and donation.  Definitely something to keep on the calendar for next year, who wouldn’t want to see happy faces like this again, all in the name of charity! RAFBF Pancake DayRAFBF Pancake Day

RAFBF Pancake Day RAFBF Pancake Day

Thank you to the Photographic Section of RAF Lossiemouth for the use of their images.  For more Information Contact Photographic Section, RAF Lossiemouth, IV31 6SD. Tel: 01343 817191Crown Copyright: These images may be used for current news purposes only. They may not be used, reproduced or transmitted for any other purpose without first obtaining a copyright license available from the MoD, Crown Copyright Unit. Crown Copyright: These images may be used for current news purposes only.


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Karaoke Night Fever

Well as you probably know by now, we love fundraising, but more importantly, we love having fun while we do it.  Not only that, we like to make sure everyone around us is having as much fun as we are!

So, if you were to sit down and think of an event that would bring such enjoyment to us and others then you would come up with Karaoke too, right?!

Karaoke Night

Yup in a sober, quiet moment, someone sat down and thought “I know, let’s organise a 70’s/80’s Karaoke Disco Night to raise funds for the RAF Benevolent Fund”. And yes, in that sober, quiet moment, it did seem like a very good idea.

The location: The Beach Bar in Lossiemouth. A well-populated establishment, known for its lively evenings and fun-loving clientele.

The date: St Andrews Day, a good reason to celebrate!

The host: Lossie’s very own “Karaoke Dave”

And so the scene was set and the promotion had been done. It was time to wait and see who would come and join us for the night and, more importantly, what would they be wearing! Arriving in tutus and leg warmers was a little nerve wracking, but the timely arrival of a good portion of the Village People, the Pink Ladies and large, very cheerful group of “Wallys” made everything seem quite normal.

Karaoke night (10) Karaoke night (15)

The first worry with any Karaoke event is whether or not anyone will actually get up and sing, but that proved to be the very least of our worries!  Poor Dave hardly had time for a break as ticket after ticket poured in with requests from enthusiastic participants to perform everything from to AC/DC to Bananarama and lots more in between!

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Everyone put their all into their performances and were readily joined by a backing group, as well as their own dance troupe! The YMCA was performed with distinction and Dancing Queen was sung with the conviction of 20 year olds (in 40+ something bodies)! The dancing may have been questionable at times, but it was carried out with such enthusiasm that style was seen as secondary to passion and spirit.

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As the night wore on, more and more people joined the party and timidity was replaced by disco fever and a keenness to be part of the event’s entertainment.  Tunes from Grease were belted out alongside Guns N Roses and Sister Sledge, while Madonna rubbed shoulders with Pink Ladies and the Village People cut loose with Wallys. The dance floor was an amalgamation of everything was good (and bad) about the best two decades of disco music, ever!

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So, was the night a success? Well everyone there had a fantastic evening, but they also knew exactly why they were there and who they were raising funds for, which is the most important part.  The second indication is that a wonderful £365 was raised through entry fees and raffle alone! So many people were overly charitable when they found out funds were being raised for the RAF Benevolent Fund, putting in extra donations or buying more raffle tickets. We really were blown away by everyone’s willingness to show their support.

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We must say a massive thank you to Graham and Glynnis at the Beach Bar for their support and generosity leading up to the event and on the night, and to “Karaoke Dave” for his unwavering enthusiasm throughout the night, we couldn’t have done it without them.  We must also say thank you to Windswept Ales in Lossiemouth for their benevolence, it was great to be able to work with such an enterprising local business.

P1040845So to sum it all up in a few words? It would have to be lots of fun, singing, laughing, dancing, fundraising, tunes, leg warmers, bright colours, disco, family, entertainment, and an amazing party time.

And the big question, will we do it again?



Watch this space …………………

For more photos from this amazing night out, please see the Karaoke Night Gallery

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Team RAFBF Lossiemouth – One Year On

We don’t think anyone, much less us, was prepared for where fundraising for the RAF Benevolent Fund could take us in one short year, but here we are with 12 months of fundraising under our belts and wow, we are just amazed!

On 8th November 2012 we held our first official event as a team in the Combined Mess at RAF Lossiemouth, with Dot Aitken, Regional Administrator from Edinburgh, joining us on the day. The idea was to start recruiting volunteers and spreading the word about our formation. We held a few of these events that year, gradually building up our list of victims (sorry supporters) who would be invaluable as the year wore on.

First Event

Pretty soon, it became clear that we were a team with ambition and drive but that we were definitely going to have a lot of fun too. The original members; Karen Cox, Zee Fletcher, Hannah Saunders and Debbie Tulip were keen to show what they were capable of so snuck in a quick Christmas Quiz and Christmas Fayre before the year was out.

Christmas Fayre Christmas Quiz

January brought a visit from the RAFBF’s Head of Regional Fundraising, Rachel Huxford and Regional Fundraising Executive, Laura McLellan, all the way from London HQ.  It was fantastic to be able to meet them, show them our “patch” and share our ideas with them, but also to get advise on how to take the team forward. During that visit, we were officially christened “Team RAFBF Lossiemouth” and our future was formed.   We also gained a lovely addition to our team, with Bobby Keeling coming on board.

We never thought a small team from way up in the north of Scotland could make a difference and we certainly never thought anyone would notice, which was why winning the RAFBF’s Silver Hawk was such an amazing honour.

Karen, Zee, Bobby & Debbie were delighted (and just a tad excited) to head down to London to collect the award and we certainly made an experience of it.  We felt like VIPs on the night and that was carried on into the next day with a tour of the most beautiful RAFBF HQ by Controller Chris Nikols and then a visit to the evocative Bomber Command Memorial with Mike Neville, Director of Strategy & Fundraising.  All of this was topped off with lunch at the RAF Club with Regional Director for Scotland, Bob Kemp.  How could we not feel special!

RAFBF HQ Bomber Command Memorial RAF CLub RAFBF Awards

Summer came and boy what a rush, with event after event.  We were soon able to set up our merchandise stall with our eyes closed and the animal hunt and coconut shy became part of our lives! We were delighted that 432 Elgin Squadron Cadets were always on hand to help us out as well as the many volunteers and supporters from RAF Lossiemouth and beyond.

Armed Forces Day Kinloss Family Day 423 Elgin Cadets RAF Lossiemouth Friends and Families Day

There were various sponsored events organised by team members which boosted our fundraising, but also ingrained the team spirit which we are so passionate about.

Six Harbour Walk Dava Way Ghost Walk Baxters 10K Baxters 10K

As well as that, we were asked along to support local events and receive cheques on behalf of the RAFBF, which we are always very proud to do.  Two such cheque presentations were the Royal British Legion Riders Branch, Scotland for £1,101 and RAF Lossiemouth Friends and Family Day for £3,000, which are both staggering amounts!  Spending an evening with Her Majesty’s Royal Marine Band Scotland was a complete hardship for us, but we struggled along, all in the name of charity.

XV(R) Sqn RAF Lossiemouth cheque presentation RBL Riders Scotland RM Band Scotland

Committee meetings were a rush of things to organise, but we never forgot the most important ingredient of all – fun! We were thrilled when Pauline agreed to join us and as the team grew in strength and friendship, we were able to achieve more and more, with the well-oiled wheels of a team in harmony carrying us through the busy summer of events and into the autumn.


So here we are, a year after that first quiet event, but what did we actually achieve in that time?  Well we raised a massive £7,000 as a team, sold over £1,200 worth of merchandise but, more importantly we have raised the profile of the RAFBF here at RAF Lossiemouth and increased the fundraising done locally in their name.  As well as that, the Team RAFBF name has been extended and is now an example of team fundraising being rolled out across the RAF Benevolent Fund.  We are proud to be the first Team RAFBF and will continue working for this amazing charity for as long as we can.

One of the things we appreciate most is the support we get from all those who volunteer for Team RAFBF Lossiemouth, in whatever way they can. We have had people baking cakes, manning stalls, selling raffle tickets, putting up tents, organising and providing transport, promoting events and just generally being absolutely wonderful and we would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to each and every one of you, you are all a vital and integral part of the fundraising that has happened for RAFBF up here.

So our first year is over and our second is underway ……………….. watch this space!