As the Royal Air Force Association (RAFA) enters its 70th year, a new recruitment drive has been launched in West Norfolk.

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The King’s Lynn and District Branch has more than 200 members, but needs to attract some younger faces to serve on its committee if it is to survive.

Formed shortly after the second world war, the branch is still very active in the community and last year raised nearly £12,000 for the RAFA’s annual Wings Appeal.

Secretary Michael Forster, 81, said: “We along with many others are feeling pinch because of the failure of the younger es-service personnel joining in to help raise funds and generally support the aims of the association.

“The average age of the committee at present is more than 80 and unless there is a top up of younger members, the inevitable will happen. If the branch closes, there will be no-one to organise the Wings Appeal and the money won’t be raised to provide welfare support.”

Nationally, the RAFA celebrates its 70th anniversary this year, making it one of the longest-standing service charities and it relies solely on donations and the work of its members.

Branches around the UK last year raised about £1.6m to provide help and support to current and former members of the Royal Air Force and their dependants.

The association was formed in 1943, but its charity work began in the 1930s with benevolent schemes for the unemployed and the distribution of Christmas hampers to struggling families.

This year the association hopes to launch a new scheme to help RAF personnel serving abroad to stay in touch with their children at home using video messaging.

The King’s Lynn branch meets at the Conservative Club in London Road every second Thursday of the month at 8pm.

To find out more about the organisation and becoming a member, contact Mr Forster on 01553 764330 or visit www.rafa.org.uk.

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