RAF music charity celebrates 20th anniversary
The Royal Air Force Music Charitable Trust was established by Malcolm Goodman while serving at RAF Cranwell with the Band of the Royal Air Force Regiment, and also serving as Public Relations and Marketing Manager for the Royal Air Force Music Services.
With the support of Stuart Stirling (former Principal Director of Music for the RAF) and Chris Weldon (former Director of Music for the Band of the RAF Regiment) as the founding trustees and following the appointment of former Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Michael Graydon as President, the RAF Music Charitable Trust subsequently became a registered charity on January 27, 2004.
Now based in Newark, the charity organises concerts by the bands of the Royal Air Force, raising welfare funds to support the wider Armed Forces community through donations to other service charities and associated organisations.
Since its registration as a service charity and through the voluntary work and support of its various trustees over the years, the charity has established numerous fundraising concerts around the country, which in recent years has enabled the charity to donate over £100,000 in welfare support and associated funding to other charities and organisations including British Forces South Atlantic Islands Music Club, Combat Stress, Every Life Charity, Help for Heroes, Hounds for Heroes, International Bomber Command Centre, International Military Music Society, Lincolnshire Bomber Command Memorial, Military Wives Choir, National Gulf Veterans Association, Once We Were Soldiers, Royal Air Force Cranwell Orchestra, Royal Air Force Air Cadets, Royal Air Forces Association, Royal Air Force Charitable Trust, Royal Air Force Music Services, Royal Air Force Music Services Association, Royal British Legion, Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity, The Veterans Band and Voice for Ukraine UK.
Having organised many concerts around the country over the years, perhaps the most notable of recent times was in 2018 when the charity had the privilege of organising the RAF100 Centenary Concert in Lincoln Cathedral with the Band of the Royal Air Force College and compere Myleen Klass.
In 2023 the charity also organised another special concert in Lincoln Cathedral to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Dambusters raid, featuring the Band of the Royal Air Force College and Lincoln Cathedral Choir.
The charity also provides welfare support directly to Royal Air Force musicians and their families during ‘out of area’ [non-musical] deployments - most recently in Afghanistan and during Operation Rescript, which involved most of the RAF Music Services personnel supporting the NHS in a variety of medical roles around the country during the Covid19 pandemic.
The Royal Air Force Music Charitable Trust has no staff and is run on an entirely voluntary basis from its home office in Newark by three charity trustees, Malcolm Goodman, Trevor McDonald and John Baigent, and in this 20th anniversary year the trustees also have the additional support of Andrew Allott — all are former Royal Air Force musicians and veterans of the First Gulf War having served together in various field hospitals during the 1991 conflict.
As a Founding Trustee and Honorary Administrator of the charity Malcolm said: "Looking back, it has been a great privilege to have the opportunity to establish and run the charity from my home in Newark. Little did I realise back in 2004 that despite being the smallest Royal Air Force charity, it would soon become a full-time 'job' as the charity became the primary single sponsor of Royal Air Force charity concerts in the UK.
Despite all three trustees now being in our 70's, we remain as enthusiastic and dedicated to the charity's cause as we have always been. With the invaluable support of Air Chief Marshal Sir Michael Graydon, we look forward to a successful series of concerts in this anniversary year, and hopefully many more to come."