The RAF Association is thanking volunteer organisers and supporters for their overwhelming response after two fundraising events went ahead in different formats to follow the Government’s COVID-19 guidelines.
More than £100,000 was raised after organisers of a sponsored bike ride and a 46-mile sponsored walk changed the way the events were run so that participants could take part wherever they were in a socially-distanced way.
The changes led to hundreds of extra people signing-up and over £100,000 – far more than originally hoped for – being raised for the Association’s work to help people experiencing loneliness, isolation and practical problems as a result of the pandemic.
Using online technology on their tablets or phones, more than 250 cyclists across the UK and at locations overseas took to virtual roads last week to clock-up 100 miles each in the RAFA Rides Virtual event, raising over £70,000.
Many participants based at RAF stations rode static bikes in hangars or workplace gyms, while others cycled in their own bedrooms, garages or gardens. Some took to roads in their local areas to cover the distance on moving bikes.
After being waved-off online by Nell McAndrew, many were cheered-on from a distance by RAF colleagues and members of their own households. An online ‘cheer squad’ of RAF Association volunteers was live-streamed to the cyclists. Tracking technology was used to measure participants’ distances and for organisers to keep in touch with them.