RAF Shawbury fundraisers
PUBLISHED: 13:00 21 January 2011 | UPDATED: 20:31 20 February 2013
Airbase fundraising is in a league of its own and Soap star super stars
Airbase fundraising is in a league of its own
Throughout last year RAF Shawbury ran community projects with schools, churches and county organisations and raised thousands of pounds for local and national charities, including more than 28,000 for the 3 Service Benevolent Funds. The Taking Football to Africa and Beyond Appeal, based at the unit, completed its most successful year to date and in doing so passing the 31,000-item mark and increased the number of countries it has reached to 31.
Squadron Leader Neil Hope, the Community Relations Officer, runs the appeal and during the year, he delivered 21 consignments of football kits and other items to 11 countries across the globe. The year ended with the departure of a large delivery to Afghanistan in preparation for distribution by a team from Sky Sports. Sky reporter Geoff Shreeves filmed at Camp Bastion and handed out shirts from the appeal. As part of the filming, Manchester United players Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville joined Geoff at RAF Shawbury to try out their flying skills on the Defence Helicopter Flying Schools Bell 412 Simulator. They ended their afternoon in Shropshire with an impromptu kick around with the eight-year-olds of Shawbury United Juniors on the station football pitches.
Soap star super stars
The tri-service station football team from RAF Shawbury took on an all-star soap opera football team in a charity match in Leigh, Lancashire, designed to raise funds for the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association. The Shawbury football team was made up of players from across the station including students and instructors from the Defence Helicopter Flying School and the Central Air Traffic Control School. The All Stars team included stars from Coronation Street, Hollyoaks, Emmerdale and Dream Team.
Playing in the game were MP and former Sports Minister Andy Burnham, Alan Halsall (Tyrone in Coronation Street), Andy Whyment (Kirk in Coronation Street), Sam Aston (Chesney in Coronation Street), Richard Fleishman (musician and formerly of Coronation Street), Ryan Thomas (Jason in Coronation Street), Jamie Lomas (Warren Fox in Hollyoaks) and Ralf Little (The Royle Family). The game was closely fought resulting in a 2-2 draw with the All Stars winning the penalty shoot out to
take the trophy.
At the end of the game, Lucy Jo Hudson (previously of Coronation Street and Wild at Heart) judged the tri-service team on the quality of their moustaches. The team, with other Stn personnel, had been taking part in the Movember charity moustache growth for research into cancers affecting men. Lucy judged the moustache grown by the tri-service officer in charge, Flight Lieutenant Richard Kinniburgh as the best.
More than 1000 people attended the match in sub-zero temperatures raising a huge amount of money for SSAFA.