RAF charity to descend on Blackpool
The Royal Air Forces Association is Blackpool bound. The charity, which supports current and former RAF personnel and their families, is heading to the town for its annual conference from 16-18 May.
The conference will take place at the Winter Gardens, with an ‘RAF Association Village’ setting up next to the Comedy Carpet by the Tower on Saturday. This is open to the public, as well as conference delegates. The village will be open from 9am until 6pm.
Visitors to the village can find out what it’s like to fly in an RAF Tucano or a Dakota, thanks to two simulators. Motorcycle enthusiasts can chat to the two teams sponsored by the Association, Top Gun Racing and Roundall Racing. Music fans can enjoy an RAF band and for fans of people throwing themselves out of aircraft, the RAF Falcons Parachute Display team will be dropping in around 5pm on the Saturday afternoon (weather permitting).
Members of the RAF Falcons team will also be around during the day in the Association Village to meet and chat to visitors. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be part of the team that helps train all of Britain’s military static line parachutists, now’s the time to find out!
The annual conference is an important event for the RAF Association as it allows members from across the world to come together to discuss, debate and resolve issues facing the RAF family.
This year the conference will focus on the welfare work carried out by the Association. The keynote speakers will be Stuart and Amy Robinson, who are the Association’s first ambassadors. Stuart was badly injured in Afghanistan, losing both legs and sustaining many broken bones. His wife Amy will tell delegates about their experiences as a family adjusting to a new way of life.
This will be Nick Bunting’s first conference as the Association’s Secretary General. “I am looking forward to meeting many of our members, as they work tirelessly for the Association. Each year they raise many thousands of pounds for the Wings Appeal and deliver the majority of the welfare support that the Association was established carry out.
“I’m also very much looking forward to sampling the delights of Blackpool and would encourage everyone to visit our RAF Association Village on the Saturday.”
On Sunday morning from 9am there will be a parade starting at North Promenade (Middle Walk). The salute will be taken by the Chief of the Air Staff, RAF Association President and the Mayor of Blackpool. A service of dedication will take place at 9:30am at the War Memorial, followed by a flypast by the RAF Tucano Display Team.
The RAF Association exists in the recognition that RAF personnel and their immediate families dedicate their lives to their country, and to ensure that such a sacrifice does not result in suffering, poverty or loneliness.