Team RAFBF Lossiemouth

Proudly supporting The RAFBF

Leave a comment

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


Leave a comment

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!


Leave a comment

The Last Post of Summer

Well as the months draw on, our summer of fundraising comes to an end.  It’s been a busy time and we have been thrilled with the support we have received from all the events we attended and wish to thank everyone who bought merchandise or took part in our tombolas.

Summer in Lossiemouth wouldn’t be complete without the annual Lossiemouth Raft Race and that wouldn’t be the same without a true Scottish downpour.  With the threat of rain looming in the distance, we set up our stall with one of the best views ever. Where else can you have a teddy tombola, looking over to an endless stretch of golden sands.

Lossiemouth Raft Race Lossiemouth Raft Race

The day went well and it was great to see an RAF team win and a lovely group of RAF wives getting best dressed.  We aren’t biased at all, but of course we do have a little favouritism.

The front was busy with families and friends all enjoying the various stalls on display, from coconut shys to tombolas, there really was something for everyone.  We were delighted with all the visitors to our stall and our teddy tombola was a huge success as usual.  We must say a huge thank you to Ross and Emma who travelled up from Coatbridge to help out on the day and to Emily Grapes and Charlotte Jennings who worked hard for us.  We were also joined by cadets from 423 Elgin Squadron who were fantastic at getting out into the crowd and promoting the RAFBF, as well as selling our animal hunt sheets and getting contenders for our lucky bucket.  Happily, our Dambusters skittle mug competition was won by a current serving member of 617 Sqn.  We must say a huge thank you to Simon Kitt Photography, who wandered around taking photographs of the event, wearing an RAFBF t-shirt to help promote the charity.

Lossiemouth Raft Race Lossiemouth Raft Race

Lossiemouth Raft Race Lossiemouth Raft Race

We are already looking forward to next year’s event and may even putting in an entry to the race ……….. any volunteers?!

A couple of weekends later, we were honoured to be invited along to XV(R) Squadron family picnic and BBQ.  The weather report was not looking good with persistent rain on offer.  In typical RAF fashion, everyone got stuck in and lots of families came along for an afternoon of fun and food.  Unfortunately the high winds meant we weren’t able to put up our RAFBF gazebo but the Squadron kindly gave us use of a 12×12 which we managed to dress up with a bit of RAF bunting for the occasion.

XV(R) Sqn Family Picnic XV(R) Sqn Family Picnic

The children all thoroughly enjoyed our animal hunt and we feel we educated a few children (and grownups) as to what a narwhal is.  It is also quite worrying how many dads couldn’t work out the mystery word when presented with the letters o, r, a, n, d,o and t. Thankfully their children were a little more switched on! We ran our usual “Guess How Many Skittles are in the Dambusters Mug” and we have to say we were very impressed with young Josh Nixon who used mathematical skill and judgement to end up only 4 out! H Dad, OC XV(R) Sqn, was thrilled to have a Dambusters mug hanging in his kitchen – it’s all in good fun at the end of the day.

Wg Cmdr Nixon Josh Nixon

It really was great to be able to spend time with the families of XV(R) Sqn and let them know a little about RAFBF, although most of them are aware due to the RAFBF’s support of the families of the airmen, tragically lost last summer.   We are also very grateful to everyone who purchased merchandise on the day.

XV(R) Sqn Family Picnic XV(R) Sqn Family Picnic

So that’s it, our summer of fun has ended but we are already planning for the winter months.  At the end of September we have a 1940’s Swing Night at the Stagger Inn to look forward to, as well as a 70/80’s Karaoke Disco night at the Beach Bar on 30th November – time to dust off those flares or leg warmers!  You kind find out more about both these events by visiting our Facebook page.

Swing Night RWB

So finally, we would like to remind you that if you wish to donate to the RAF Benevolent Fund, you can do so by visiting the RAFBF website or by texting REMEMBER to 70800 to donate £5.

Now, where did we put those RAFBF hoodies!