Team RAFBF Lossiemouth

Proudly supporting The RAFBF

Accessorise your support for the RAF Benevolent Fund

We have been generously donated some beautiful pieces of jewellery to help raise funds for the RAF Benevolent Fund. Each piece is beautifully crafted and will make a stunning accessory to any outfit, whether it’s a wedding, ladies lunch, evening event or a night out with the girls. Each item is individually priced, with 100% of each sale going to the Fund, once P&P has been recovered (£2 per order please, to be added on to your payment total).

We have a selection of beautiful necklaces, earrings and bracelets made from freshwater pearls, polished shell, or crystal for you to choose from, some have matching pieces to complete the set.  Necklaces are short (approx 42cms), long (approx 122cms) or extra long (140cms). Bracelets are all approx 19cms in diameter and all earrings are pierced except if otherwise stated.

To place an order, simply pay through our Just Giving page and specify the item you would like to purchase in the message, but please remember to add £2 per order for P&P. Then email with your delivery details. Each item will arrive wrapped in tissue paper and placed in an organza bag; ready-wrapped if you wish to send it as a gift.

This is the last of our jewellery, so don’t hesitate, if you want it, buy it – it may be gone by tomorrow!


Item #1 – Freshwater pearl clip-on earrings £3.00


Item #2 – Black beads with polished and dyed shell. £3.00 (two pairs available)


Item #3 – Gold coloured freshwater pearls, green beads and polished, dyed shell. £3.00 (two pairs available)


Item #4 – Clear green synthetic beads polished and dyed shelll. £3.00 (two pairs available)


Item #5 – Elasticated coral bracelet. £5.00 (two available)


Item #6 – Unsual wrapround bracelet with synthetic crystals and dyed freshwater pearls. £5.00


Item #7 – Delicate bracelet with polished and dyed shell and synthetic beads. £5.00 (two available)


Item #8 – Bracelet of shell and synthetic beads £5.00


Item #9 – Triple strand bracelet with dyed freshwater pearls and natural crystals and a detailed clasp £6.50 (two available)


Item #10 – Delicate bracelet of dyed freshwater pearls and natural crystals. £5.00


Item #11 – Unsual cubed style necklace (short) £7.00


Item #12 – Triple strand short necklace of freshwater pearl and crystals £7.50 (two available)


Item #13 – Short necklace of natural crystal and freshwater pearl £7.00


Item #14 – Short necklace of brightly coloured coral – £7.00


Item #15 – Short, coloured freshwater pearl necklace £7.00


Item #16 – Short, single strand necklace of natural freshwater pearls. £7.00


Item #17 – Short “button” shaped coral bead necklace. £7.00


Item #18 – Short, triple strand necklace with decorated clasp of freshwater pearl and shells £7.50


Item #19 – Short triple strand necklace of dyed freshwater pearls. £9.00 (two available)


Item #20 – Short, triple strand necklace of petite, dyed freshwater pearls. £9.00


Item #21 – Vibrant, short, triple strand necklace of dyed freshwater pearls and decorative clasp. £9.00


Item #22 – Double strand, short necklace of natural and dyed freshwater pearls. £8.00


Item #23 – Short, double strand necklace of dyed and natural freshwater pearls. £8.00


Item #24 -Short, triple strand necklace of petite freshwater pearls. £9.00


Item #25 – Long rope necklace of angular, natural freshwater pearls. £10.00


Item #26 – Long, rope necklace of smooth natural freshwater pearls. £10.00 (two available)


Item # 27 – Long rope necklace of freshwater pearl, polished shell, synthetic cystals and beads. £10.00


Item #28 – Long, rope necklace of polished dyed shell and synthetic beads. £10.00


Item #29 – Long, rope necklace of dyed freshwater pearls. £10.00


Item #30 Extra long, rope necklace of smooth natural freshwater pearls. £12.00


Item #31- Short cord necklace with a glass heart containing a shell and freshwater pearl detail. £6.00


This gallery contains 32 photos

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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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David Wilson – A Man of Many Challenges

In 2014, David Wilson took it upon himself to take on a list of challenges to raise funds for the RAF Benevolent Fund, starting with the Baxters River Ness 10k in the September.   In his blog, David tells us a little more about himself and why he has decided to throw himself at the wall for the RAFBF!

1463121_10152398737094128_445086746_nI am married to my wonderful wife Audrey and we have two beautiful girls Paige age 6 and Poppy age 4. We also have a cat Jessie and are about to have two little Old English Bulldogs about our family. Family means the world to me and their support whilst I am away on ops or just working here keeps me going every day. 10959641_10155288015270165_6521783422657041534_n

Whilst out at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan, I was working on Chinook helicopters and especially supporting the MERT (medical emergency response team) which deals with battlefield casualties. I was in awe of the work they did but it got me wondering about who helped the guys after they came back from ops and were back in the UK. I knew about Help for Heroes, but felt I wanted to support a charity specific to me and the Royal Air Force.

I had heard of the RAF Benevolent Fund, but didn’t really know what who they were and what they did but after reading about the support they give to everyone, from WWII pilots to today’s RAF servicemen and their families, I thought I need to do my bit to help out, however small that may be.

1979619_10154703116350165_6350362050799477576_nLast year I decided to try running the Baxers Loch Ness 10k and from there I’ve enjoyed it, not as much fun in the winter I’ve found out, but nevertheless, I’ve had to get the miles in to prepare for 2015. The cycling challenges interested me as I’ve always loved cycling. I bought a road bike in 2008 and it still serves me well, I love cycling in the beautiful countryside of the Highlands and Moray (again more fun in the summer months!!!). The two cycling challenges I have set myself are further than I have cycled before, so I am pushing myself as hard as I can to support the RAFBF.544921_337636463103989_8262919289738017612_n

As well as the physical challenges, I would also like to help or get involved where I can with any other RAFBF charity work and volunteer with Team RAFBF Lossiemouth when I can.

1455869_10153203694054128_6273153155921151745_nI was successful in my application into the Great North Run 2015 in Newcastle which I am pretty excited about, it’s up there with the big running events on TV, so I am  really glad to get a place and of course doing it for a great cause in the RAF Benevolent Fund. All these events seem so far away at the minute but will creep up really fast.  I am hoping to add more and love the challenge, but don’t want to take on more than I can handle. At the minute I’m 100% focused on the Inverness ½ marathon in March , and want to get a time close to or better than the 1hr 44mins  I achieved in the Great Scottish Run in Glasgow in October, but with the cold weather it may be tricky. With that in mind it’s all about getting the miles under my belt just now, blowing off the cobwebs and working off the extra mince pies from Christmas. I even treated myself to a new pair of bright running shoes to feel part of the distance runner’s club. Hardest part of training at the minute seems to be getting the running gear on, with the 10646946_10153218249459128_4304828631513361773_nsnow and wind, training has been tough but I have my youth football team from Elgin City FC spurring me on! I have been taking them for a few laps of Cooper Park in Elgin, when our normal training pitch is snow covered, so they get a fitness session and I get pushed hard by these super fit youngsters.

Here’s a full list of what David is putting himself through in the coming year:

8th March – Inverness ½ marathon

6th-7th June – Night Rider London

28th-29th August – Ride the North challenge

13th September – Great North Run

We think David deserves all the support he can get, so if you agree with us, please pop over to his Just Giving page and make a donation to encourage in all his amazing efforts!

Well done David, we are right behind you – well ok, probably quite a bit behind you and puffing like mad, but we are there!

Finally, if you are interested in taking part in the Loch Ness Marathon in 2015 for the RAF Benevolent Fund, please email or visit the the RAFBF website for a full list of their event challenges this year.

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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: Andy Reed – “The Well-Seasoned 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.

Andy Reed was introduced to the team by FS Mark Ratcliffe and was soon appreciated for his wealth of biking knowledge.  Here Andy tells us a bit more about himself and the challenge.

2014-08-25 17.01.09My name is Andy Reed and I am a fitter for Turner Estate Solutions at RAF Lossiemouth.  I was in the RAF for 27 1/2 years as a General Technician Workshop and left as a Chief Tech just over two years ago.

I have been biking for longer than I care to remember (34 years in October). Had a great time riding bikes in the RAF, started scrambling then changed to short-circuit track racing and finished up as a trials rider. It was often andyremarked that I must have been sponsored by Ginsters,  not that I can work out why.  I still ride every day and can’t imagine a day with out a motorbike and will only give up when I can’t pick them up anymore.

I am doing the challenge to raise money for what I consider to be a very worthwhile cause and to put something back into a Service that has given me so much over the years and continues to do so.

2014-06-01 11.40.09I am most looking forward to seeing the MGR at Lossiemouth on the morning we finish, and there is no downside to being on the road on a motorbike for a whole week with 3 great guys for company  (not forgetting the back up crew)

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: Cpl Dave Thorne – “The Cool Red 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.

Cpl Dave Thorne was the third member of the team to join up after meeting SAC Jack Yardley at a local motorcycle club.  Dave is also a member of the  Team RAFBF Lossiemouth Committee.

2014-08-25 17.05.16My name is Cpl David Thorne and I have been serving as an Airframe Technician (mechanical) in the RAF for almost 17 years.

I’ve been motorbiking since 2008 when I took my intensive course with Fast Trak in Elgin. I actually failed my first test due to a safety error, but had a perfect ride. I flew through my second test. I bought my first bike, a Fazer 600s2 before I even passed but had to wait until I passed to collect it from Ecosse in Aberdeen and my first ride was the travel back to Lossiemouth. Four years of commuting later, and after paying off my finance, I traded the Fazer for my absolutely mint red 2002 VFR 800 vtec. The two furthest journeys I have ridden so far is Elgin to Oban and back and Elgin to Auchtermuchty and back.

I am doing the RAF Way Round as both a personal challenge to complete the distance and as a way of giving something back to the 2014-08-25 17.14.52RAF Benevolent Fund whom I believe to be the most worthwhile armed forces charity. Who knows, we may all need them someday and I would like to feel that I gave before I got!!

I am most looking forward to visiting the 39 Mod bases as I hadn’t even heard of some of them! I am also looking forward to meeting old and new friends along the way, especially catching up with The Grumpy Biker and Simon who we hosted at Lossiemouth earlier this year.

RAFWayRound SAC Jack Yardley, Sgt David ThorneThe thing I am most not looking forward to is trying staying focused and alert on day 7,  when after 6 days of continuous riding,  we have to slog our way along the motorway from Woodvale to Fort George at Ardersier for the Highland Military Tattoo. All that straight road will be mind (and bum) numbing!! Give me corners any day ….  oh and just to add, I bought a Red VFR as, the ASDA test proved, everyone loves a red bike!

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: 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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RAF Way Round: The Dawning of a New Challenge

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.


The RAF Way Round Logo, created by The Grumpy Biker

SAC Jack Yardley tells us how he came up with the idea and how it then grew legs and rode!

The idea came about not long after I did my CBT (compulsory basic training)  when myself and Ratty (FS Mark Ratcliffe) were in the pub for someone’s leaving do. We got chatting about bikes etc, and I mentioned how ace it would be if we could manage to visit every MoD establishment in the UK by bike for charity.

After discovering that to complete that challenge would take weeks upon weeks, Ratty suggested visiting all the RAF stations and other camps with a significant RAF presence. I asked him that once I had passed my full bike test would he be interested in doing it with me and he agreed, however it fell to the wayside when my wife announced she was pregnant.

After passing my test, and just before a deployment to OP Herrick with 617 Sqn, I asked Ratty if he was still game for it and was he happy for me to start organising stuff in preparation, once  I had returned to the UK (I should add that he is my boss after all!) This is where I came up with the name for our run. ‘THE RAF WAY ROUND’, a shameless rip off of Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman’s documentary ‘The Long way Round’

Once the go ahead was given and initial contact was made with the RAF Benevolent Fund, we started looking for other volunteers who would  like to do the run with us. Unfortunately everyone O asked couldn’t follow it through due to other commitments.

So three months, and $600 later from tailoring hats in the desert, I set about fully putting the wheels in motion. I  asked Ratty if he was still game (although he admitted that he though I’d never see it through) and Dave Thorne, who I had met through  a local motorcycling club, came on board not long after I came back from Afghanistan in February this year.

After speaking with Karen from Team RAFBF Lossiemouth about what we wanted to do and how we wanted to be noticed, we set to work on the planning stages of our trip. Routes were planned, potential sponsors contacted and social media pages created. From then on we soon found ourselves swamped with correspondence and interest from other companies. It was at this time Ratty had introduced Andy Reed to us, who had expressed an interest in joining us. As one of the most experienced motorcyclist I know, and a road knowledge almost akin to an A to Z book, it would’ve been stupid not to have him on board!

With the team complete, tonnes and tonnes of emails and phone calls made to book accommodation, liaising with other stations who were willing to help us out, approaching sponsors, keeping our media pages up to date to increase our profile and the all-important local fundraising with the bikes, we were now almost ready to set off.

We started this project over six months ago thinking that would be more than adequate time to plan and prepare. And although we are in the final week until our departure it still seems there are a mountain of things to finalise.

All in all we certainly hope that the time and effort spent on making this trip a success will allow us to hit that £10,000 that we have been pushing hard for.

RAFWayRound SAC Jack Yardley, Cpl David Thorne

Jack and Dave’s first photo call

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

RWR Sponsors

The various RAF Way Round sponsors