Personnel from 617 Squadron have raised £1000 for the local Nar Valley Federation of Churches Academies to purchase warm uniform hoodies for the children.
Senior Aircraftsman Tom and Aircraft Engineering Technician Dave, both from 617 Squadron decided to approach friends and colleagues on the Squadron to donate money for the schools to buy much needed hoodies for the students. Tom, who plays football for a team in Norwich, came up with the idea after his team were looking at ways to support schools in Norwich. Tom decided that he wanted to do something a bit more local to RAF Marham where he serves on 617 Squadron so contacted Narborough Primary School, who are part of the Nar Valley Federation of Church School Academies, part of the Diocese of Norwich Education and Academies Trust, along with Castle Acre and Sporle C of E Primary Academies, to see if there was anything that they could do to help the schools.
With the current Covid 19 pandemic schools are having to put contingencies in place to minimise the risk of contracting the virus and one of these is to have the windows open to increase the airflow in the classroom. As we headed into winter this meant that the children required extra layers to keep warm. Executive Headteacher, Mrs Anne Neary, mentioned that they would like to be able to give hoodies to children who didn’t already have them. Tom enlisted the help of friend Dave and together they raised £1000 to donate to the schools to buy the clothing.
Tom said “We just felt that we wanted to do something to support the local community and it was great that everyone on the Squadron donated to this fundraiser. Hopefully next year we will be able to visit the schools and meet some of the students.”
Tom and Dave asked their boss Commander Sparrow, Officer Commanding 617 Squadron to handover the cheque to the trust on their behalf. Commander Sparrow handed the cheque to Executive Headteacher, Anne Neary at Narborough C of E Primary Academy. He said, “I am extremely proud of the fundraising efforts of Tom and Dave and the support they have shown to the local community.” Anne Neary thanked Squadron 617, particularly Tom and Dave saying “We are incredibly grateful to the Squadron for their support and are absolutely delighted to begin this link which will enhance the children’s learning experiences”
The Squadron would like to continue the relationship with the schools and hope to visit next year when Covid restrictions allow. They also plan to make contact with the students when they deploy next year on HMS Queen Elizabeth.