Youngsters from 1406 (Spalding) Squadron have made history by becoming the first Air Cadet unit to donate money back to the RAF Charitable Trust.
The Trust was formed in 2005 and since then it’s awarded over £2.5 million to a wide range of projects and initiatives, with well over £1 million going to the Air Cadet Organisation (ACO).
Last year a Trust donation of £10,600 helped 1406 Squadron to replace their old tired minibus with a brand-new vehicle which was handed over in May, with the new vehicle having taken cadets to venues including the RAF Hendon Air Museum, the Shuttleworth Collection in Bedfordshire, the Path Finders Museum at RAF Wyton, and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight at RAF Coningsby.
This year, as a thank you, the Cadets held a bag-packing fundraiser at ASDA superstore and were able to send a donation of £250 back to the Trust.
Amanda Butcher, Director of the Trust, said: “The award to 1406 (Spalding) Squadron was one of the larger grants paid direct to a unit and the squadron’s decision to raise money to support the Trust is a great example of community spirit and will help us to help other units.
“We are very grateful for this gesture of appreciation.”
Cadet Cameron Mc Geown (14) said: “Having the Minibus allowed me to go to the Farnborough Futures Day in July where I was lucky enough to speak with RAF aircrew.
“That reinforced my decision to join the Royal Air Force, with the ambition of becoming a fast-jet pilot.”
The minibus also plays its part in raising the profile of the Air Cadets - civilian instructor Jon Hilton said: “The minibus is also an advertisement for the squadron when we’re out and about and it helped take our winning team to Wing Athletics, bringing home the championship title for the second year running.”
Flight Lieutenant Keith Bate, Officer Commanding, said: “The minibus has allowed the cadets to try an ever-increasing range of activities which would not have been possible without the generous grant from the RAF Charitable Trust, and we cannot thank the Trust enough.”