Station Charities Committee
The aim of the Station Charities Committee is to support local charities and facilitate any charity events being run both on and off the station by its personnel.
Each year we nominate chosen charities to support and we present them with a cheque from our funds raised. The charities for 2014 were Forces Children’s Trust, Search Dogs Buckinghamshire and St Helen’s Church. On 12 May, Mr Denny Wise, the founder of Forces Children’s Trust, and Mr Paul Quarman, from Search Dogs Buckinghamshire, attended RAF Benson and were presented with a cheque for £500 each.
The Forces Children’s Trust is a charity devoted to helping children whose father or mother has died or has sustained life threatening injuries whilst serving as a member of the British Armed Forces. Mr Wise decided that a charity solely dedicated to helping the individual needs and problems of the children would help fill a niche in the charitable field of family care.
Search Dogs Buckinghamshire assist Thames Valley Police to search for missing or vulnerable children and adults who might be despondent, suffering from dementia or other conditions. Their searches take place within the Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire areas. The ultimate goal of both dog and handler is to locate the missing person and reunite them with their family.
The third recipient was St Helen’s Church in Berrick Salome. St. Helen’s is an ancient Grade 2* listed building. The donation went towards their Church bells Fund. The tower has a ring of six bells, the earliest dating from 1621 and the bells are currently being refurbished for the first time since 1908.
The chosen charities for 2015 are the Millstream Day Centre in Benson, the First Responders based at RAF Benson, the Young Carers Centre in Didcot and the Island Farm Donkey Sanctuary at Brightwell-cum-Sotwell.
The objective of the Millstream Day Centre is not only to provide excellent lunches, three days a week, but to also to bring elderly people together from the local area for companionship as many live on their own. There is a paid cook who produces the varied lunches with the help of several volunteers.
The Community First Responders use life-saving skills, such as the use of the automated external defibrillator, to provide early and often vital intervention for patients suffering lifethreatening emergencies. They answer calls intheir neighbourhood and therefore have the potential to arrive on scene before an ambulance, especially in rural areas. These extra minutes do help to save lives.
The Young Carers Centre in Didcot provides independent, free and expert advice, information and support for unpaid carers of all ages. They cover South Oxfordshire and The Vale of White Horse. Their help includes face to face support at home, or by appointment at the office and help with complex form-filling, such as Disability Living Allowance, Carers Allowance or Attendance Allowance. It also provides specialist support with Benefit Appeals and Tribunals as well as free monthly trips and activities for young carers aged 8 to 17.
Island Farm Donkey Sanctuary is a registered charity which cares for and protects abused and ill-treated donkeys and other animals. Currently they look after over 100 donkeys and an almost equal number have been found new homes. Many donkeys arrive with some or all of the problems associated with neglect or lack of understanding and occasionally, abuse.
As you can see the projects that the Station Charities Committee supports are varied and worthwhile. We are always looking for volunteers to help on the committee and fundraise. If you would like to offer your time please contact Flt Lt Wray.