£40k for RAFA is best in the UK

George Smith, Kevin McRandle MBE, Wg Cdr Noel Williams, Dan McCormick, Billy Boyce and Joe Corr with their Wings Appeal cheque for 2015. INCT 44-722-CON
George Smith, Kevin McRandle MBE, Wg Cdr Noel Williams, Dan McCormick, Billy Boyce and Joe Corr with their Wings Appeal cheque for 2015. INCT 44-722-CON

The RAF Association’s Carrick branch has thanked local people for supporting the Wings Appeal, which raised a “record-breaking” £40,000.

The amount is the highest total ever collected by any branch in the United Kingdom, surpassing their own previous record in 2013.

The achievement has extra significance this year as fundraising efforts coincide with the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

Branch Wings Appeal organiser, Wing Commander Noel Williams said: “I am truly ecstatic that we have again passed the £40,000 barrier in these tough financial times, but not surprised at the generosity I have witnessed at the many stalls we set up right across our catchment area.

“People just love to chat with our older veterans and recognise the service they have given to their country, and are kind enough to support them by donating their hard-earned cash.

“Many are equally mindful of the service and sacrifice of our younger veterans, which, when coupled with the milestone of the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, led them to acknowledge their needs by giving extremely generously - hence our magnificent total of £40,159.23.

“I really must pay particular thanks to the [retail] outlets that supported us, together with the remarkable generosity of the people of Carrickfergus and its outlying towns and villages. Likewise the schools and churches, including the Black Santa, who gave generously to aid us.

“I thank you on behalf of those who are unable to do so personally.”

A record-breaking year was always in sight for the branch, which extends beyond Carrick to Newtownabbey and Glengormley and as far as Ballyclare.

Branch chairman, Colin Murphy said: “I recall last year that I said we would be celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain in 2015, and hoped to break all records in terms of monies raised.

“I think Wing Commander Williams deserves our gratitude for organising yet another huge effort to mark this milestone of what was possibly the most important battle in World War II.”