RAF veteran cycles from Downham Market to Sandringham for wellbeing cause
An RAF veteran has cycled more than 40 miles in West Norfolk for a fundraising challenge.
Anne Rose, who lives in Wisbech, has recently cycled 46 miles from Downham to Sandringham and back to raise money for the RAF Benevolent Fund.
She served in the Royal Air Force as an avionics technician from 1990 until 2003, when she left to become a maths teacher. Anne is currently an adult volunteer with the RAF Air Cadets and is officer commanding 272 (Wisbech) Squadron Air Training Corps.
Her brother David and his wife Sadie joined the veteran for her journey which will raise funds for a cause that provides financial, emotional, and practical assistance to serving and retired RAF personnel and their families.
Anne said: “I’m not sure if I chose to do the challenge or was co-opted into it by my brother David. He phoned me while I was pushing my bike home after suffering a puncture – with just a week’s notice before the event!
“Being ex-RAF myself, I thought it was important to raise money for the Fund. The charity provided so much support to my brother, and a friend of mine from recruit and trade training was supported through the Fund’s Housing Trust when her husband died of cancer.”
David is based at RAF Honington as one of the Fund’s Social Engagement Workers (SEWs) – an initiative aiming to tackle social isolation and loneliness among the serving community at a number of RAF stations.
He spent 31 years in the RAF as an engineer before being medically discharged in 2018 and has also been supported by the RAF Benevolent Fund.
Commenting on the challenge, he said: "With so much cancelled or postponed this year, the opportunity to be part of the ‘Prudential My Ride London’ was too good to miss. I just had to persuade Sadie and Anne plus hope for some good weather.
"We got some goodish weather, managed a ‘cake break’ during the ride, raised some money for the RAF Benevolent Fund and finished with a smile and a decent brew.”
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the RAF Benevolent Fund has expanded its Telephone Friendship Groups service to allow more veterans to join a weekly call and developed an online application form for grants of up to £750.
It has made £2,500 available for each RAF station to provide an activity and wellbeing pack for RAF children and launched Airplay Connect, an online version of its youth support service.