The Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund is set to unveil a brand new garden and sculpture in the upcoming RHS Chelsea Flower Show in May this year.
The RAF Benevolent Fund is the RAF’s leading welfare charity and supports current and former members of the RAF, their partners and dependents.
The garden and sculpture is set to be a moving tribute to all those who have served and are currently serving in the RAF.
The design itself will feature a sculpture of a young pilot looking up at the sky, standing at four metres tall, and will be constructed from 1,200 layers of laser cut stainless steel.
Award winning Garden Designer John Everiss, who designed the garden, said: “I am absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the RAF Benevolent Fund on our Chelsea Garden 2022.
“My father was an RAF navigator during WW2, so I have grown up hearing the amazing stories of veterans and their families.
“As a member of the RAF Family, the opportunity to be able to thank them and highlight the fantastic work the charity does is a privilege for me and my team, we really can’t wait to get going!”
The garden has been designed to allow visitors to sit and reflect on the service and sacrifice of all the RAF and civilian personnel.
Funding for the garden is being provided by Project Giving Back, a new support scheme enabling charities to create a garden at the world-renowned show.
Project Giving Back has been established with funding from two private individuals who are RHS Life Members and keen gardeners.
Jason Shauness, Director of Fundraising and Communications at the RAF Benevolent Fund said: “This is such an exciting opportunity for the RAF Benevolent Fund and we are incredibly grateful to Project Giving Back and the RHS for making it happen.
“We’ve had a tough couple of years but we are excited to be able to share our journey with our supporters and the general public.
“We are delighted to be working with award-winning garden designer John Everiss whose father served in the RAF.”
Everiss’ father, Stan, a navigator on Stirling bombers, survived after being shot down over occupied France in 1943.
After being hidden by local resistance fighters he was eventually guided over the Pyrenees and reunited with his family after four months.
Following the RHS Chelsea flower Show, the garden will be relocated to a permanent site at London Biggin Hill Airport for the public to see.
For more information about the garden or how the Fund supports the RAF Family, please visit rafbf.org/chelsea.