Wings Appeal 2021: Carrickfergus launch as Covid pandemic continues to impact

The Carrickfergus branch of the RAF Association has commenced its annual fundraising drive in aid of welfare work.

Monday, 13th September 2021, 4:23 pm

The Wings Appeal was launched with the support of Air Marshal Sean Reynolds, the Lord Lieutenant of Co Antrim, Mr David McCorkill and the Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor William McCaughey,

Joe Corr, branch welfare officer, said: “We really are struggling with Covid and still being asked to play a greater part in providing care in the community for veterans who can no longer rely on public welfare services. Whilst I am proud to say that our welfare work within the Carrickfergus branch is second to none, it can only be achieved with the superb support from those who give so generously when ‘Wings’ comes around each year.

“We have taken the opportunity of using the gathering of veterans and the Lord Lieutenant, the Mayor and the Air Officer Northern Ireland, who were attending the Battle of Britain service, to launch our appeal. We trust that the kindness normally shown to us throughout our area will be forthcoming in spite of the pandemic.

Helping to launch the Wings Appeal in Carrickfergus are Air Marshal Sean Reynolds, the Lord Lieutenant, Mr David McCorkill and the Mayor, Cllr William McCaughey

Mr McCorkill, commented: “I was thrilled to be able to launch the Wings Appeal again and was absolutely delighted when the Carrickfergus branch managed to collect £20,000 in the face of coronavirus last year. Yet again this shows the tremendous supportive and caring nature of the people of the town of Carrickfergus and its surrounding areas, from Ballyclare, Whitehead to Greenisland, Ballycarry to Glengormley and Newtownabbey.”

Last year the branch’s Wings Appeal broke through the £20,000 barrier for the twelfth year in a row despite the impact of pandemic restrictions.

The Mayor, Cllr William McCaughey, said: “The RAF Association continues to play a vital role in providing welfare support and relief for a large number of veterans who served in the RAF; that welfare also extends to their families. Each year the Association responds to over 23,000 calls for help and the number is steadily rising as those who are eligible become older.”

Wing Commander Noel Williams, the branch Chairman and Wings Appeal organiser, said: “Already this year we have had great success with our stalls in the DeCourcy Centre and Tesco in Carrickfergus. We hope to have several more, depending on Covid restrictions, including at Sainsbury’s, Victoria Eurospar, Abbey Centre, the Milestone on Middle Road; as well as the Russell Group Topaz Petrol Station on the top road in Greenisland.

“I am truly thankful to these major businesses, as well as the many other smaller enterprises who support us throughout the year.”

Air Marshal Reynolds said: “Members of the RAF Association seek to assist those who fought for the liberty we enjoy today. So I ask, on their behalf, for residents from across south Antrim to help those who gave a huge portion of their ‘yesterday’ so that you could have a secure ‘tomorrow’.”

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