As the RAF marks its 100th birthday this year, and to recognise the dedication of service people past and present, Lincolnshire Co-op is raising money for the Royal British Legion and the RAF Benevolent Fund.
The charities will be supported through the Community Champions scheme throughout summer.
Money raised for both charities will help them care for forces families, serving personnel and veterans who need help with a range of issues including funeral costs, debt, housing, mobility problems and medical care, and help train others to support them.
Lincolnshire Co-op’s Community Co-ordinator Ryan Hodson said: “In Lincolnshire, the community around us is closely linked with the armed forces, and the charities we’re supporting do an important job caring for the health and wellbeing of service people past and present.
“We hope that by holding these activities, events and fundraising in our outlets together we can recognise the work they do and raise funds to help them continue it.”
A donation will be made every time members shop in Lincolnshire Co-op stores using their dividend card.
Colleague fundraising and proceeds from the carrier bag levy will also go into the pot.
Lincolnshire Co-op food stores stock a range of local produce through the Love Local range, and some of these producers are also celebrating with specially created forces-themed goods.
For each sale of these products 10p will also be donated through the scheme.
• Red Leicester Bastion in the Air cheese, made by the Grinstead family at Lymn Bank Farm near Skegness.
• Bastion Pale Ale, brewed by Ferry Ales Brewery in Fiskerton.
• Dambusters Beer Chutney, made by Jenny’s Jams of Lincoln.
• Cupcakes produced by Lincolnshire Co-op’s bakery Gadsby’s during the summer.
Ferry Ales Brewery’s Bastion Pale Ale has been brewed to promote the “Bastion in the Air” project which is raising awareness of Lincolnshire’s First World War aviation heritage.
Ferry Ales Brewery’s Co-owner Mike Holman said: “It’s great to be supporting causes that help so many local people in Lincolnshire.
“The armed forces are close to our hearts and we’re thrilled to be involved.” There’ll be fundraising in lots of other ways at Lincolnshire Co-op outlets, including the chance to win a once in a lifetime trip on the Tornado Steam Locomotive from Lincoln to London.
To enter, just have a go at the anagram competition at selected Lincolnshire Co-op stores.
Customers can test their flying skills by taking part in a paper airplane competition and other games in Lincolnshire Co-op food stores during Armed Forces Day on Saturday, June 30 - all in return for a small donation.
Money will also be raised in June through a ‘guess where the teddy is’ game at Lincolnshire Co-op travel branches and ‘guess the teddy’s name’ at its funeral homes.
More fundraising will also come from collection boxes located in all stores where customers can donate whatever spare change they like.
Regional Director for the RAF Benevolent Fund Mark Quinn said: “We are delighted that in this seminal year Lincolnshire Co-op have chosen to raise funds for the RAF family. We are extremely grateful to all involved for choosing to support the charity.
“It is support like this which means the fund has been able to stand side by side with the RAF for almost 100 years, offering financial, emotional and practical assistance when current and ex-service people need it most. “
Regional Fundraising Manager for the East Royal British Legion Jo Ticehurst added: “We are very excited and feel privileged to be chosen as a Community Champion until September.
“It’s set to be a special year in Lincolnshire as combined with RAF 100, there’s lots to celebrate in the county this summer.
“We look forward to working with Lincolnshire Co-op raising funds and awareness for those who served and are still serving who need our help today.”