3rd Annual RAF Waddington Awards Evening.

There were several awards categories ranging from the Outstanding Contribution to Charity Award to the Spirit of RAF Waddington Award each one given in recognition of how RAF Waddington’s personnel continue to make a significant contribution to operational output, take leading roles in the community and accomplish outstanding sporting achievements whilst continuing to provide world class Combat ISTAR from our home base and deployed locations around the world.

Gp Capt Tom Burke, Stn Cdr RAF Waddington said:

"To all of you, whether you were an award winner or runner up, I would like to thank you personally for your efforts and offer to you my sincere congratulations. The volume of such high calibre nominees is an indication of the exceptional people at RAF Waddington and it is a real privilege to share the stage with you at this event. Thank you."

 

Awards Ceremony
The event included representation from our colleagues and partners from industry - 3SDL, Amey, AAR, Boeing, ESS, Inzpire, Leonardo's, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Thales & QinetiQ whose support made the event such a success.
Contribution to Charity Award
The Outstanding Contribution to Charity award was given to Sgt Russ Makinson. 
In his capacity as Chair of the RAF Digby Station Charities Committee for four years, Sgt Makinson has considerably increased fund-raising over that time. He has been pivotal in raising over £17,000 for good causes.
In his first year, he built a team of volunteers and raised £500 for SSAFA. The following year, his earlier work really bore fruit and the Committee raised £3000 for the NOMAD Trust, providing emergency bed spaces for Lincoln’s homeless people in crisis. 
His encouragement and guidance to the team produced a life-saving contribution of £4500 to Lincolnshire Emergency Medical Responders.
During 2018, his team has raised an incredible £9000 for Lincolnshire Special Olympics, a charity that enables participation for young people with learning difficulties in the British Special Games and the World Special Olympics.
Award presented by Gp Capt Tom Burke, Stn Cdr RAF Waddington.
Cpl Helena Schofield (R) was given the Outstanding Sporting Achievement award. 
Helena has performed at the highest sporting levels in the past year, competing at Combined Services level within the Endurance Running discipline. She holds titles in the Armed Forces 10-mile, RAF Half Marathon, RAF 10K and RAF 5000m events, as well as holding the 100x10k World Record.
She has represented the Endurance Running discipline in both individual and team events in different classifications, from relays to the Inter Service Half Marathon. Her dedication to the sport is unquestionable and has resulted in her receiving numerous awards and silverware.
Adding to her sporting achievements, she was also selected to be the 2nd in Charge for the RAF 100 ‘Sports for Kids’ event. 

Awarded by Amy Cokayne. Amy is an Officer in the Air Force and an International rugby union player, making her debut for England in 2015 against Italy.
The Peoples Award
The People/Community award was given to Cpl Vicky Brown. 
Vicky is a pivotal member of Lincolnshire Emergency Medical Response (LEMR)

As a member of LEMR she gives up her personal time to assist East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) by manning a Rapid Response Vehicle, answering 999 calls across the entire county of Lincolnshire as directed by EMAS control. 
She has received extensive training at the EMAS training centre in Lincoln and gives up evenings and weekends to put in shifts, and still ensures she attends the compulsory training and skills upgrades. She has also attended local schools to deliver talks and demonstrations to the children with confidence and professionalism. Having been a member of the scheme for some time she is often called upon to mentor new clinicals that have successfully completed their training with EMAS. Taking on further responsibility she is now the Shift Manager for the scheme, allocating personnel and cars each week ensuring the correct skill levels are maintained for every shift, again in her own time. 
Her commitment extends further, as a charity the scheme relies solely on contributions from the public to remain operational by purchasing new cars every 5-7 years, as such she has driven numerous fundraising events over the last year to the benefit of the scheme, raising a substantial amount.

Unfortunately, Vicky was unable to attend on the night. The award was presented by Danny Cowley, Lincoln City Football Club Manager to fellow LEMR Volunteer Sgt Williams.
Outstanding Team Achievement
The Outstanding Team Achievement award was given to The Station Labour Force for their invaluable support throughout the last year; especially during the closure and refurbishment of one of the main barrack blocks and a major building project to expand the Integrated Welfare Facility. Many tasks they undertake are often undesirable and unseen, but they always do so professionally and without complaint. It goes without saying that the SLF are invaluable to the station and its personnel with their unwavering dedication and contribution to the industry. 
Accepted by Mr. Dean Pavey (SLF). 

The award was given by guest speaker Stuart Robinson (L). Stu was serving with the RAF Regt overseas when his vehicle was hit by an IED. He sustained life threatening, life changing injuries.
Spirit of Waddington Award
The Spirit of RAF Waddington Award was awarded Flt Lt Tina Hartnell. 
Tina significantly stands out as a selfless, committed Junior Officer, intently focussed on operational output, wider station commitments and the welfare of her colleagues in equal measure. Always the first to volunteer for station activity, she routinely represents RAF Waddington at Remembrance Day and Battle of Britain parades, serves on the Officers’ Mess committee and reschedules her own annual leave to support volunteer requests. An active school governor she is committed to helping those around her and creating a community that benefits all its members. 
Following the death of a friend and colleague Tina was the first to support others close to him through their grief. 
She has thrown herself into RAF Cycling in memory of her departed friend, becoming a Service exemplar within her local cycling club and working towards commemorative participation in a solo endurance ride in Scotland. 
All her output is for the benefit of others and epitomises the spirit of the Station.

Award presented by Wg Cdr Mark Bailey.

The Resourcefulness and Innovation award was given to both Sgt Sparkes and CT Darbon. 

This two-man team has excelled; displaying innovation, technical excellence and outstanding ability, exceeding expectations by a significant margin in their delivery of their duties as Sentry Airborne Technicians. 

They had to overcome significant challenges which included funding, time constraints, manpower and equipment procurement, all of which were countered by their excellent project management and technical ability. 

Challenged relentlessly by various issues, their unrivalled technical proficiency and dedication proved a success increasing the fidelity of training for crews preparing for future operations - an achievement for which they should be truly proud.

Sqn Ldr Dave Graham
Earlier this year we very sadly lost friend and colleague Sqn Ldr Dave Graham who was the E-7 Wedgetail Programme Requirements Manager. Boeing have - in his memory - very generously sponsored an award in his name to be presented at ISTAR Awards Ceremonies. 

The Sqn Ldr Dave Graham Memorial Award will be presented by Boeing to the individual that has contributed the most to the future of RAF Waddington.

Gp Capt Lyndon Jones, Director Air ISTAR AWACS RPAS Programmes, HQ Air said:

"Sqn Ldr Dave Graham made a significant input to Royal Air Force history that will be realised over many decades in our next generation of Command and Control aircraft. He was at the core of setting the requirement and it was his innate knowledge and experience that helped shape the programme to what it is today. Moreover, his legacy can also be seen in the people he met over his career; his guidance and empathy helped shape their knowledge and professionalism, ultimately enhancing the ISTAR Force at RAF Waddington and this impact will be enduring."

The initial Sqn Ldr Dave Graham Memorial Award was presented posthumously to Dave and accepted by his wife Rebecca at this year’s event. Dave was a father to four children, AJ, Tommy, Harry and Sophie. They are aware of the high esteem in which their father was held and he would be rightly proud of how they have coped during this tragic period. During his time as the E-7 Wedgetail Programme Requirements Manager, Sqn Ldr Dave Graham played a central role in identifying the best solution to meet the future Airborne Early Warning & Control capability needs of the Royal Air Force. It is through Dave’s outstanding contributions that the E-7 Wedgetail Programme has progressed to where it is today, as his work was essential in finalising the recently announced acquisition of five Wedgetail aircraft. The award pays tribute to the lasting impact that Sqn Ldr Graham’s work will have on the future of the RAF’s ISTAR Force at Waddington, as he leaves behind a tangible legacy in the Wedgetail aircraft.

Awarded by Matt Nicholson from Boeing.
Guest Speaker
Guest speakers included Stuart Robinson. Stuart was a Cpl in the RAF Regiment whose vehicle was hit by an IED whilst conducting a routine patrol in Afghanistan. Stuart spent 6 weeks in an induced coma and woke to learn that he had suffered 36 separate injuries including the loss of both his legs, and 18 fractures of the spine, shoulders, arms, jaw, sternum and pelvis. However, wanting to get his life back on track, he set about an intense course of rehabilitation and went on to win a Gold medal in Wheelchair Rugby at the 2014 inaugural Invictus games. Following this he became part of the Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby development squad and was selected for the Paralympic Inspiration Programme in 2016 where he attended the Rio Paralympic Games. He again went on to represent Great Britain at the 2016 and 2017 Invictus Games. Stuart was also part of the team who won the European Championships in Germany in 2017.

 

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