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Why should YOU contact the Federation?

The RAF Families Federation is funded by the RAF but sits outside the Chain of Command as an independent organisation. We represent all RAF personnel –bethey Regular,Reserve, single, married or in apartnership, together with their families.

We provide avoice for the issues and concerns you have about life in the RAF,and we have direct access to senior RAF and MOD staffs as well as Government Ministers.

To do all this, we need to hear from you on issues such as quality of life, accommodation, health, education, pay and allowances Everyone’s views and concerns are important to us.

Keythings to remember: •Wework with the RAF/MOD and not against them

•Wedon’t undermine the chain of command; we work with them but will dig them in the ribs on your behalf when necessary

•Wewill signpost you to the ‘best’ experts to help you if required

•Wealways maintain your anonymity and respect your privacy

•Wealways maintain afair and balanced approach If you don’t tell us, we can’t tell them.

Welcome from the


This is the best time of the year for me as the weather warms up and everyone seems to develop more of aspring in their step.

This season finds us hunting out new challenges and Ihope that the two articles here will help furnish you with some ideas. Flt Lt Rachael Lee shares generally about the 50 sporting associations that are active today in the RAF and Fg Off Harry Brown delves into the world of RAF Tennis and how you can get involved.

The RAF FF continues to enjoy great working relationships with not only our stations but our fellow Armed Forces charities and there are some new,aswell as established services to share with you from the RAF Association, RAF Benevolent Fund, RBL and Service Dogs UK.

Fromthe wider RAF Family too, we regularly have relatives contact us with found memoirs and stories on their parents, grandparents, aunts/uncles. This issue of Envoy shares unforgettable adventures of RAF Airman, Derek Gates. It’s always such a pleasure to work on stories like this and our volunteer editor Kate Graham tells us more.

Ifinish with one plea. No, Ilie –two!

The first is that we are here for the whole serving community –Regular,Reserve, single, married –and your families.Wewant to reflect that in the magazine, so if you have any stories you want to share, please let me know.

My second and final plea is that we particularly need to reach out to our dispersed families to see if they would like contact and be included in the general RAF community.Ifyou know of anyone who might like to have access to this magazine (other halves, parents, grandparents) please pass this copy on to them. It’s free to subscribe ( and one way of keeping everyone feeling included.

FrontCaption: RAF Waveriders Association.

CONTACT Telephone: 01780 781650, email: or via the website

Envoy –The magazine of the RAF Families Federation, published 4times ayear. To have your FREE copy delivered quarterly to your home, email or via our website

Director: Bill Mahon Communications Manager: Caroline Woodward Communications Assistant: Nick Crouch Assistant Volunteer Editor: Kate Graham Evidence Manager: Colin Jones

Evidence Assistant: Todd Fellows Evidence Assistant (Housing): Stan Brathwaite Regional Covenant Managers: Graeme Spark, Jo Wilkinson, Julie Price Office Manager: Ruth McClelland

Published quarterly by Method Publishing, adivision of Scottish Provincial Press Limited, on behalf of Envoy

Design and Typography:©Method Publishing 2016 Editorial Matter and Illustrations: ©Envoy Printed in Great Britain by: Warners Midlands plc Advertisement Office (UK): Method Publishing, Sutherland Press House, Main Street, Golspie, Sutherland, KW10 6RA Tel: 01408 633871 Fax: 01408 633876 Email:

Views expressed in Envoy,unless stated otherwise, are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of Envoy,the RAF or the Ministry of Defence. No responsibility for the quality of goods or services advertised in Envoy can be accepted by the Publishers or Printers and advertisements are accepted on the express condition that the advertiser warrants that they in no way contravene the provisions of The Trades Descriptions Act 1968 nor any other prevailing legislation in the United Kingdom. The Publishers reserve the right to refuse acceptance of any advertisement without stating areason. Summer 2016 1

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