Guests at the launch of the 2017 Wings Appeal in Carrickfergus heard that over half of those who qualify for help are now over 90-years of age.
Members of the Carrickfergus branch of the RAF Association were joined The Lord Lieutenant of County Antrim, Mrs Joan Christie OBE as the annual fundraising iniative got underway.
Mrs Christie asked people to be generous in their support for the heroes who helped the United Kingdom secure victory in what was probably the most important conflict of the recent times for these islands, The Battle of Britain.
Mrs Christie commented: “I was thrilled to be able to launch the Wings Appeal again and was absolutely delighted when the Carrickfergus Branch collected another staggering £40,000 in 2016 for last year’s appeal.
“Yet again this shows the tremendous support of the kind people of the town of Carrickfergus and its surrounding areas, from Islandmagee to Ballyclare, Whitehead to Greenisland, Ballycarry to Glengormley and Newtownabbey.”
The RAF Association provides welfare support and relief for a large number of veterans who served in the RAF and their families.
Wing Commander Noel Williams, branch vice-chairman and Wings Appeal organiser, said: “Each year the association responds to over 23,000 calls for help and the number is steadily rising as those who are eligible become older. Indeed, well over half of those who qualify for help are now aged well over 90 and we actually have three 97-year-old members in the branch.”
Colin Murphy, branch chairman, commented: “I thank the Lord Lieutenant for representing Her Majesty in launching our 2017 campaign. We were delighted with her presence, and I couldn’t agree more with her sentiments about the generosity of the people of South Antrim when it comes to their support for the military, and ex-military service personnel.”
Carrick’s Battle of Britain Act of Remembrance will be held on September 10 at 11.00am in Joymount Church.