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Crawley-based Thales add their support to national campaign to find RAF veterans in need

Crawley-based Thales in the UK have given their backing to a national campaign to find RAF veterans in need. Second World War pilot George Dunn DFC spoke to staff earlier this week and explained why the RAF Benevolent Fund’s appeal is so important.

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George Dunn DFC

Ninety-seven-year-old George, who lives near Brighton, told Thales employees about his wartime service, flying with Bomber Command having signed up to the RAF at the tender age of 17. George described one of the most famous operations he took part in – the raid on Peenemunde, which destroyed the Nazis V Bomber capability.

George was joined by RAF Benevolent Fund Ambassadors Bob Greig and Rob Bugden, who are both also RAF veterans. They were representing the charity, which Thales has been a generous supporter of, to ask staff to join its centenary campaign to help RAF veterans.

Bob, who lives in Woking, explained:

“The RAF Benevolent Fund has launched this campaign to mark 100 years of support it has already given to the RAF Family, serving and retired personnel and their families. We’re aiming to double the number of people who receive help, from 53,000 people to 100,000 people and to do that we need the help of companies like Thales in the UK.

“If you know anyone who served in the RAF who may be in need, urge them to get in touch with the RAF Benevolent Fund. They have been there for me in my darkest hour and ever since, and all RAF personnel should know that comfort.” 

Thales in the UK has been a long-term supporter of the Fund, having donated more than £100,000 to date, and also have a representative, Malcolm Crayford, on the Fund’s Centenary Campaign Advisory Board, who commented;

“Over the last 100 years, Thales has enjoyed a long heritage of supporting the Royal Air Force; we have also supported the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund. Today, Thales is proud to be supporting a new campaign from the RAF Benevolent Fund to get Royal Air Force veterans in need back on the radar.”

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K2 Crawley and other local leisure centres to reopen next week

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Local leisure centres in Crawley are set to reopen after being given the green light by Prime Minister Boris Johnson. 

K2 Crawley, Broadfield 3G Pitch and Pavilion and the Bewbush Centre, managed by sports and leisure operator Everyone Active in partnership with Crawley Borough Council, will reopen their doors on Wednesday 2 December following a month’s closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Government has confirmed all leisure centres across all tiers will be safe to reopen with strict operational measures in place.

However, local restrictions mean some activities are not available at some centres. Full information on how the tier system affects your local centre is available here.

Everyone Active has committed to keeping its customers safe and active, ensuring it will meet and exceed Government guidelines to prevent the spread of Covid-19 with the Everyone Active Pledge. Full detail on the operator’s pledge and safety measures can be found here.

While its 200 leisure centres across the country have been closed, Everyone Active has provided a comprehensive package of online workouts for people to use, along with live streamed classes across its social media pages.

Jon Hodgson, Everyone Active’s contract manager, said:

“We’re very much looking forward to reopening our centres and welcoming back the local community.

“After being closed for a month, this announcement from Government is the news the leisure industry has been eagerly awaiting.

“It is very important to give people the opportunity to resume activity and exercise in their leisure centre, particularly during the winter months, and this will go a long way to maintaining the good health of local communities.

“We would like to thank the 615,000 people across the country who signed the petition we supported to keep gyms open, which triggered a Parliamentary debate, and to acknowledge the impressive manner in which the leisure industry has pulled together.

“We would also like to thank Crawley Borough Council for their support, which has proved invaluable during this challenging year.

“Ensuring our colleagues and customers remain safe is our number one priority and we have carefully considered the strict measurements to ensure we adhere to the guidance.

“We will be contacting all customers directly over the coming days regarding the centres reopening. We look forward to welcoming everyone back and thank them for their patience.”

For further information on Everyone Active and its leisure centres, visit www.everyoneactive.com.

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