Volunteers who would normally collect donations for a national military charity in local streets and supermarkets have moved this year’s appeal online due to COVID-19.
Members and friends of the Stowmarket Branch of the Royal Air Forces Association are usually out in force with collection buckets for the charity’s Wings Appeal, held annually around the time of September’s Battle of Britain commemorations. Last year we collected in excess of £7,000 in support of our charity.
With some of the volunteers considered to be at high risk from COVID-19, organisers have decided to move this year’s collection online, in the form of a JustGiving page.
It is hoped that the online payment facility will enable more people than ever before to donate as the traditional street collections had relied on passers-by having loose change in their pockets.
Arthur White, president of the Stowmarket Branch of the RAF Association, said: “While this means that supporters won’t be given the iconic Wings Appeal sticker in return for their donation, they will still be supporting the vital services that we provide to RAF veterans, serving personnel and their dependants.
“The JustGiving page means we won’t be constrained by the number of streets or supermarkets our volunteers can visit, so the sky’s now the limit in terms of how many people we can reach!”
Amy Petterson, head of community fundraising at the RAF Association’s headquarters in Leicester, added: “People in the Ipswich and Stowmarket areas have always been incredibly generous in throwing money into our Wings Appeal buckets. In this, the Battle of Britain’s 80th anniversary year, we hope they will continue to donate, but this time via their local branch’s JustGiving page.
“The RAF Association needs people’s support more than ever, as we continue to provide emergency help to those who have been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the beginning of the national lockdown, we have provided friendship and essential supplies to thousands of additional veterans and their dependants.”
To donate to the Stowmarket branch’s Wings Appeal collection, please visit www.justgiving.com/RAFAStowmarketBranchWingsAppeal.
More information about the Battle of Britain and the RAF Association’s work to support serving and former RAF personnel can be found at: rafa.org.uk.