When Pudsey visited Wyton… for Children in Need

When Pudsey visited Wyton… for Children in Need

At the beginning of November, the burning question on everyone’s lips was “Will he come again to see us this year?” Now even for the diehard Christmas ‘enthusiasts’ (and I can think of a few other adjectives!), surely nobody meant Santa?

No. It was the appearance of Pudsey Bear at RAF Wyton’s Children in Need appeal that everyone was talking about!

When it comes to supporting charitable causes, Military establishments are rarely left wanting. Indeed, the good folk at RAF Wyton, whether Service, Civil Service or Contractor are normally at the forefront of organisations across their local community, giving of their time and money, and all in a good cause.

Now, at RAF Wyton, we do Charity Coffee Mornings well, and when I say well, I mean we have so many that most of us have to forgo lunch on a regular basis; not that I’m complaining! (as my waistline proves! – Ed)  However, we are also lucky to have a great many of you out there who come up with all sorts of ideas to make our charity giving that much more enjoyable, giving us all that sense of team effort.

This year’s Children in Need effort at Wyton was no exception, Sgt Duncan Booth and his fellow Station Charities Fund Committee Members rolling up their sleeves in aid of children across the UK who need that extra support that we can help fund. With a ‘girls versus boys’ netball match and cake sale in the Station Gym, an auction and games night in the JRM, a collection on the main gate, and a trip to a local nursery, their was more than enough for Pudsey get his paws into.

Needless to say, the Station did Children in Need proud, and after all the fun and frollics, and all donations had been counted up, Duncan was able to announce that a massive £1,114 had been raised by the Station Charities Fund. If that wasn’t a good enough effort by the ever generous folk at RAF Wyton, Sgt Jo Murray and her hard working team added a further £500 to the total, those working in Pathfinder Building having chosen Children in Need as beneficiary of profit they’d taken at their ‘Friday’s Coffee and Doughnuts’.

After Pudsey, AKA Spr Sam Allen had departed Wyton (he didn’t really! – Ed), Duncan was keen that Eagleye pass on a few thank yous to all involved. He said: “I would firstly like to thank everybody on Station who attended the netball game and cake sale, and to everyone who contributed to Pudsey’s bucket in one way or another. Without their attendance, the day wouldn’t have been the success it was. Secondly, I would like to thank everybody who contributed cakes. Station personnel were incredibly generous, which meant that no cakes had to be purchased, which helped increase our funds. On the cake front, I’d particularly like to thank SSgt Hamblin for the kind donations from the Mess, and SSgt Carroll for his donations from Stugle’s cake shop in St Ives.”

“My thanks also go to Cpl Feeney and LCpl Borrowdale who volunteered to run a charity auction and games night in the JRM. Auction highlights included the opportunity to bid to become Stn Cdr and SWO for the day. A date with LCpl Cotton was also on offer, but details on who bid, how much, and what happened are sketchy to say the least. It must be mentioned that the JRM staff were excellent. Bright and early the next morning, we dispatched Pudsey to the Main Gate, along with LCpl Charley Eccles, to take a collection from Station personnel arriving at work. While Pudsey seemed quite at home in the cold morning air, Charley was an absolute star  braving the elements for as long as she did. Following the gate collection, Pudsey and I visited the Stepping Stones Nursery in St Ives, and I would very much like to thank them for their donation of £85, which they kindly added to ours, and also for looking after Pudsey so well during our visit.”

“It goes without saying that I’d like to thank the Rugby and Netball teams for their efforts, particularly the Netball team, and their generous ‘losing’ donation. The game was played in good spirit and fiercely contested. The highlight for me was one of the guy’s quite literally wiping the floor with one of the girls. I’m not sure it wasn’t deserved, but on behalf of the Rugby Team, I’d like to issue a formal apology to Fg Off Claire Hobbs – Bud next time, do let go of the ball! Finally, I would like to thank everybody on the Station Charities Fund Committee for digging in deep and supporting the event.”

Asked of his Children in Need experience, Duncan said: “I thoroughly enjoyed setting up this event and contributing towards this fantastic cause. It was very busy, which was largely down to everything that we took on, but the end result was certainly worth the effort that went into it. A personal highlight was escorting Pudsey down to the Stepping Stones Nursery in St Ives. No disrespect to everyone at Wyton, but it’s fair to say that the children were far more impressed with him, which was really nice (especially as Pudsey had by then found his left foot! – Ed). It was also really generous of the nursery to add their collection to ours, the children insisting that they personally gave their pocket money to Pudsey. Going out into the community like that was a really nice touch, and something I think should definitely be repeated next year.” (I hope you’re listening Sam Allen! – Ed).

“I would whole-heartedly do this again, the time and effort put in to organising the event completely worth it. Knowing that some unfortunate children will benefit from what we did at Wyton, must give us all a feeling of great pride.”