Hayley visits Cotswold Air Show

19 Jun 2010

Hayley visited the Cotswold Air Show at Kemble, Gloucestershire to support the work of the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund and to promote the forthcoming Battle of Britain 70th Anniversary tour.


Forces Sweetheart makes flying visit to Cotswold Air Show

Sunday, June 20, 2010, 11:25

Forces Sweetheart Hayley Westenra added a touch of glamour to this year's Cotswold Air Show.

The 23-year-old soprano, who became a modern day Dame Vera Lynn after singing for troops in Iraq, made a flying visit to Kemble yesterday to support the work of the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund.

The two day show took the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain as its theme.

The world-famous Red Arrows aerobatic display team wowed the thousands of visitors to the show with their daredevil manoeuvres in the Gloucestershire skies.

The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight provided a sight which filled those below with nostalgia and national pride when a Spitfire, Hurricane and Dakota passed overhead.

There was also a chance to marvel at one of the world's most advanced aircraft in action, the Eurofighter Typhoon.

On the ground, visitors could inspect the giant C17 Globemaster and C130 Hercules as well as dozens of other military and civilian flying machines.

For Hayley, it was a chance to promote her forthcoming Battle Of Britain UK tour, which she'll perform with the Central Band of the RAF.

"I am a very lucky girl," she said. "I not only get to sing, I also get to come to awesome shows like this."

Air cadet Josh Newman, from Cheltenham, spent yesterday persuading visitors to donate to the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund.

The 16-year-old is in the process of completing his GCSEs, and already has a firm idea of what he'd like to do in the future.

"I want to be a pilot," he said.

Credits: This is Gloucestershire


From The Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund:

Heartfelt Thanks campaign honours the RAF at Cotswold Air Show

21 June 2010

Singer Hayley Westenra, serving RAF personnel and the general public came together at the Cotswold Air Show on 19th June to support a new campaign to mark the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. The RAF Benevolent Fund’s “Heartfelt Thanks” campaign asks people to use the anniversary as an opportunity to express their appreciation to members of the RAF, past and present.

The “Heartfelt Thanks” campaign gives people the opportunity to write their own personal message of thanks to members of the RAF either online at www.rafbf.org/thanks or on cards available at air shows and RAF Benevolent Fund (RAFBF) events throughout the summer.

The messages of thanks will be presented to RAF veterans on Battle of Britain Sunday, 19th September 2010.

Hayley Westenra wrote her own message of thanks to her Great Uncle, who served in the RAF. The message read:

“A Heartfelt Thanks to my Great Uncle and all his colleagues past and present, who flew in defence of freedom. RAF: we are so appreciative of the work you do.”

Also writing messages were many people who have been helped by the RAFBF, including Tony Rogers, a Polish national who flew Spitfires and many other aircraft for the RAF in World War Two. The RAFBF supported Tony by providing him with a scooter to maintain his independence and also helped fund his recent trip home to Poland, the first time he visited the country of his birth since 1939.

Tony’s message read:

“To all Polish squadrons who flew in the RAF during WW2, thank-you.”

RAFBF Controller Air Marshal Sir Robert Wright explains the importance of recognising the role of the RAF:

“The RAF Benevolent Fund’s job is to repay the debt of gratitude we owe to those who fought for our freedom in 1940, and all those who’ve served since, including those serving today. We do this by providing tangible support to all members of the RAF family – past, present and future. The Battle of Britain may have happened 70 years ago, but ongoing operations including those in Afghanistan mean that many of those currently serving will need practical and financial support for themselves and their families for the next 70 years and beyond.

“The RAFBF spends over £20 million every year helping the RAF family deal with a range of issues. Current projects funded by the charity include free relationship counselling for serving personnel, childcare and youth facilities on RAF stations, specialist financial advice delivered through Citizens Advice and treatment for mental health problems in association with Combat Stress.”

Click on the link above this article to see a slideshow.