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Recruitment drive means club’s future looks bright in 70th year
AN organisation dedicated to supporting former RAF personnel and their families is once again flying high after welcoming a much-needed surge of new recruits.
Worcester Royal Air Force Association (RAFA) was facing a fight for its future after seeing its membership fall by almost 50 per cent in just five years.
Although historically a strong branch, at the start of last year the average attendance at monthly meetings was just five people, and we reported how members were concerned they may have to call it a day. However, chairman John Mason said there has been a “meteoric” change in the club’s fortunes since the appeal for new members in your Worcester News. And now, in its 70th anniversary year, it finds itself on a much firmer footing.
“Before, we averaged five members at our meetings, but we now have between 12 and 14 and sometimes as many as 18 with some of the members of the former Mal-vern branch now adopting Worcester as their home,” he said. “Our progress has been meteoric since we changed our administration and put some new enthusiasm and energy into our activities.”
Despite the recent upturn in fortunes, Mr Mason said the group is not “resting on its laurels” and is always looking to enlist new members.
With the bulk of its membership Second World War veterans, the club remains particularly keen to attract younger members. Members do not have to be serving or ex-RAF, with family members and anyone who simply has an interest in aviation also warmly welcomed.
Anyone interested in joining or finding out more is welcome to attend one of Worcester RAFA’s meetings, which take place at St John’s Library, Worcester, at 2pm on the second Wednesday of every month.
The RAFA was founded in 1943 to care for casualties and their families during the height of the Second World War. The organisation’s aims remain the same today and more than £2 million a year is raised nationally to support former RAF personnel and their families. The Worcester branch’s recent collections for Battle of Britain Week have been hailed as “its most successful for many years”.
Mr Mason said: “We would like to thank everyone for their contributions and to our band of volunteers including the Worcester Air Cadets who worked so hard to make the collections a success.”