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Welcome from the Chairman

Welcome from the Chairman Peter Box to our first email update for our UK supporters. Peter sets out recent and upcoming activities of the RFDS Friends in the UK.

Dear Friends

On behalf of the trustees of the Royal Flying Doctors Service (RFDS) Friends in the UK, we are delighted to provide this first news update prepared for our UK based supporters. We will be issuing our news update twice yearly to keep you informed on our activities in the UK, the incredible work of the RFDS in Australia and to highlight any upcoming events.

Before updating you on the RFDS activities in the UK we hope that you and your family and friends both here and in Australia are keeping safe and protected from the COVID19 virus. We would also like to acknowledge the amazing efforts of the firefighters and individuals who have shown such resilience fighting the fires that have ravaged so much of Australia this summer and all those who have been leading the reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts.

RFDS Friends in the UK was established in 2003 and since 2016 our entirely volunteer led team has raised over £300,000 for the incredible work of the RFDS in rural and outback Australia.

We are delighted that our work in the UK is actively supported by our Patron HRH Prince Charles who has personally visited many of the RFDS facilities in Australia and hosted events for our supporters at his home in London, Clarence House.

Our primary fundraising activity in the UK is our spectacular gala dinner held every two years, the last one being in October 2018 which celebrated the 90th year of the RFDS. That dinner raised more than £178,000.

We look forward to hosting an even bigger and better gala dinner on 19 November 2020. Details of the event will be sent to our supporters early in the summer. We hope that you can save the date and join us for what promises to be another fantastic evening.

Last year we were delighted to work with the High Commission to run a successful sausage sizzle on the steps of Australia House during the recent Federal Election. It was a great success, the RFDS team selling almost 1500 sausages – surely one of the biggest sizzles in the election!

We also hosted a small informal drinks party in the summer for some of our younger and newer supporters. The drinks party was held at Freak Scene, the restaurant of one of our generous supporters, chef Scott Hallsworth. It was a great opportunity for our supporters to meet others interested in the work of the RFDS.

The work of the RFDS is hardly comprehended by many in the UK. It provides medical services over an area of more than 7.3 million sq km, treatment to more than 62,000 people annually and the 67 RFDS planes fly more than 28,863,558km, the equivalent of 34 trips to the moon and back!

All of this service is only possible because of the generous supporters of the RFDS. I can only encourage you to become an active UK supporter by attending one of our upcoming events or by making a donation. Donations can be made on our website and our events can be found here. You can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

With very best wishes

Peter Box

April 2020

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