A heartfelt plea has been issued to young soldiers returned from Afghanistan to help stop the award-winning Solihull RAF Association from folding.
The 60-year-old branch which has raised more than half-a-million pounds for injured servicemen is at serious risk of collapsing unless new members join.
Its long line of honours include winning the Darky Fell Sword each year for the past 21 years – due to it collecting the most money, compared to other branches across the country.
The branch needs to find a new chairman, a secretary, a membership secretary and a wings appeal officer by the next AGM in March.
Chairman Norman Page, aged 89, who is retiring after 14 years, said that the four positions must be filled by the beginning of next year or it will not be able to exist as an RAF association and continue publicly collecting funds for ex-servicemen and their families.
“We have lost quite a few members recently down to retirement and ill health,” Mr Page told the Soilhull News.
“We are all getting older you see, we need some young blood.
“There are surely young soldiers out there who have fought in recent conflicts in Afghanistan, who can lend a hand. We don’t just have people who have served for the RAF, we welcome those who have served in other forces.
“The main role we desperately need to fill is the wings appeal officer. This is a very important role because without one we cannot legally carry on as a full RAF association. This means we cannot collect money in public places, like in supermarkets and shop doorways.”
He continued: “If we cannot fill these roles by March, the association will have to close and I have sent letters to members with words to that effect.
“We have raised an awful lot of money for ex-servicemen over the years. It would be a great shame for this to end. I think we just need to let people know we are here.”
* If you think you can help, contact Norman on 0121 7332053 or the vice-chairman on 0121 7445116.