This year our Wings Appeal has totalled £5061.  This is only slightly below last year’s and more than was expected at the start of our campaign when both Sainsbury’s and the Co-Op re-organised their charity allocations.  This meant we lost several collecting days. As these big store collections make up the bulk of our takings (around 70%) this would potentially have been a great loss. Thankfully, it was greatly made up for by Tesco’s late offer of two extra days to help commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.  This and the extensive coverage of the anniversary in the media had a huge impact in fuelling the public’s interest.  Also we had a winning fundraiser in HQ’s flying pilot ducks who took to the air faster than they could be replaced.  

We very much value the continuing support of the big stores but not to be forgotten are the several small independent businesses in the area that keep our tins and badge boxes next to their tills. Their contributions and the efforts of individual RAFA members who arrange and collect at venues such as music clubs and local shops, make up 18% of our total collection this year.

The Shrewsbury Branch is also very fortunate in having the interest and annual support of RAF Shawbury.  Their Families Day raised a very significant amount towards our final sum.  

As with many RAFA branches we are finding the number of collectors dwindling and are having to rely heavily on the same people to do more and more of the collecting. Again, we are very fortunate in having a highly active and dedicated committee who generously give their time to Wings each year.  Without them, it would be a struggle to fill our allocated collecting slots.  Please don’t forget there are ways of helping to boost our funds other than standing in a big store; you might hold a brew for the few in your own home or a local venue such as a social club you go to regularly or enquire at a local independent shop whether they would have a tin by their till, or ask the organisers of a local event – music, craft fair etc – if they would be happy for us to collect there.  If you have any ideas, or need help in arranging any of these, please contact Roy or myself.

Alex Madely