The six children all have one or two parents who currently serve in the RAF and belong to Airplay, a youth support service provided by the RAF Benevolent Fund charity. The club provides a place for children to go with their peers, and also to access support from trained educators if they need it.
The visit was organized by the Wimbledon Foundation, which supports the Airplay project. Since 2015, the Fund has received £ 140,000, including £ 30,000 in July, the second installment of a three-year commitment to support Airplay, worth a total of £ 110,000.
Four Airplay groups from RAF stations were involved. The youngsters were treated to a visit to the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum, followed by a chance to experience the arena for themselves as No.1 court head coach Dan Bloxham led the youngsters in a practice group tennis, teaching them movement on the court and using the racquet.
Jason Shauness, Director of Fundraising and Communications at the RAF Benevolent Fund, said: “Smiling faces say it all! Thanks to the Wimbledon Foundation for their unwavering support for the Airplay project. As a charity that receives no government funding, grants like this help give us the security we need to continue to provide life-saving support to young people growing up within the RAF family.
Lauren Palmer, Wimbledon Foundation Grants Manager, said: “As a funder we strive to support charities and community groups in any way possible beyond financial support, so we have been delighted to welcome the young people of Airplay, a service we have. supported for many years at the All England Club. We hope their day discovering some of the history and magic of Wimbledon has inspired them in all they can achieve.
The RAF Benevolent Fund is the RAF’s premier charity, providing practical, emotional and financial assistance to RAF military and veteran personnel and their families. For more information, visit rafbf.org