RAF centenary events on Poacher rail line raise £1,000 for benevolent fund

Mark Quinn, Regional Director for the RAF Benevolent Fund receives the cheque for �1,000 from the RAF100 events on the Poacher Line at Sleaford station. EMN-181110-141815001
Mark Quinn, Regional Director for the RAF Benevolent Fund receives the cheque for �1,000 from the RAF100 events on the Poacher Line at Sleaford station. EMN-181110-141815001

A vintage afternoon, a fun day at a windmill and a music train are just some of the events in the Sleaford area which have helped rail travellers to raise £1,000 for the RAF100 Appeal.

The Poacher Line Community Rail Partnership, responsible for the line through Sleaford from Skegness to Nottingham,n programmed a series of special events to celebrate the RAF’s centenary, which also included taking a replica Red Arrow to Birmingham New Street Station.

With main sponsor CrossCountry Trains and partners East Midlands Trains, the team also worked with local aviation heritage sites to offer discounts to visitors arriving by rail, along with a voucher card. Recently, their efforts saw them take home the prize for best marketing and communications campaign at the national ACoRP Awards, which recognise the unsung heroes of the community rail world.

Kaye Robinson, Community Rail Partnership officer, said: “We have had a great year supporting and celebrating the RAF turning 100. With the Poacher Line being so close to many RAF visitor centres we wanted to shout about how easy these are to access whilst having some fun.

“Being able to raise such a fantastic amount for the RAF 100 Appeal really is the icing on the cake. We’ve also built some great relationships including with the RAF cadets in Sleaford, who are hoping to adopt Sleaford station in the coming months. I am hugely thankful to everyone involved.”

In addition to the money raised for the RAF100 Appeal, the partnership raised over £300 for the Royal Air Force Association at Radcliffe summer carnival.

The £1,000 was presented yesterday (Wednesday) at Sleaford station to Mark Quinn, Regional Director for the RAF Benevolent Fund on behalf of the RAF100 Appeal.

He said: “It’s fantastic. We have five units within ‘RAF Lincolnshire’ because there is so much history and heritage involved here.

“We also support the Bomber Command Memorial in London to commemorate 55,573 members of the RAF who lost their lives in the war out of 128,000 serving members.

“Within Lincolnshire we have RAF veterans that we support in their transition into civilian life if wounded or injured in service, with additional grants to support them and their social cohesion, working with the RAF Association, providing them with financial support for transport and subsistence costs.

“It will be our centenary next year and we will be reaching out to those members who are proud to serve but too proud to ask for help.”

Donna Adams, Stakeholder & Community Rail Manager for East Midlands Trains said: “We have supported the project for some time, including providing vintage sweets for customers to enjoy at Poacher Line events. We’ve also helped to arrange events at Sleaford and Skegness.”