AIR Marshal Sean Reynolds, Air Officer Northern Ireland, together with Deputy Lord Mayor of Belfast Councillor Peter McReynolds and Wing Commander Noel Williams RAF(Retd) (Chairman RAFA Northern Ireland), launched the 2019 Battle of Britain Wings Appeal at Belfast City Hall, with service personnel and veterans in attendance.
Wing Commander Noel Williams said: “When someone in our RAF family needs help, the charity they turn to is the RAF Association. Whatever their need, they can rely on the RAF Association every step of the way to give practical assistance, expert advice and emotional support. Throughout life’s challenges the RAF Association is there for them, in person and on the phone, like a good friend should be.
“The members of the RAF Association seek to assist those who fought for the freedom we enjoy today, and that’s why I am asking, on their behalf, for residents right across the Country to help those who gave a huge portion of their ‘yesterday’ so that you could have a secure ‘tomorrow’. I would urge anyone who can afford to be benevolent to Give as they Gave.”
Wing Commander Williams said: “As most people will know, there are also many modern-day heroes. Many of them are very much younger and were engaged in operations in the numerous conflicts which have taken place since 1945. The Korean and Falklands campaigns, two Gulf Wars and operations in Afghanistan and elsewhere have all taken their toll on servicemen and women, with many paying the ultimate price for their devotion to duty and their country.
“We are there whenever an injured airman or airwoman is fighting to get back on their feet, or the widow of a WWII veteran needs a shoulder to lean on. We’re there when a family needs support to stay strong and connected despite the separation that comes with RAF service. We are trusted to work tirelessly to make sure no member of our family ever feels alone or unsupported. The majority of this support is delivered by local branch members, on a voluntary basis.”
Deputy Lord Mayor of Belfast Councillor Peter Mc Reynolds said: “I was delighted to launch the RAF Associations’ 2019 Battle of Britain Wings Appeal Campaign in Northern Ireland. During the 100th anniversary of the RAF last year, the Wings Appeal Organisers collectively raised almost £100,000, and I hope that people will give just as generously this year. The wider Association responds to over 25,000 calls for help each year and that number is steadily rising as those who are eligible become older. I wish the Wings Appeal every success.”