Morecambe’s RAF hero launches Sunday lunch campaign

Former RAF Regiment gunner, Stuart Robinson, cooks up a storm alongside top chef Michael Wilson as he helps to launch the RAF Benevolent Funds Great British Sunday Lunch campaign. Picture:  Adrian Brooks/Imagewise
Former RAF Regiment gunner, Stuart Robinson, cooks up a storm alongside top chef Michael Wilson as he helps to launch the RAF Benevolent Funds Great British Sunday Lunch campaign. Picture: Adrian Brooks/Imagewise

Morecambe’s RAF hero Stuart Robinson has helped launch the RAF Benevolent Fund’s national fundraiser, the Great British Sunday Lunch.

The former RAF Gunner suffered life-changing injuries in 2013 when his vehicle hit an IED in Afghanistan, resulting in the loss of both his legs. He was joined at his home in Morecambe by the Midland Hotel’s head chef, Michael Wilson who helped him sharpen up his culinary skills and prepare a mouth-watering dish.

Together, they prepared a delicious dish of roast rump of lamb, spiced pearl barley broth and cumin roasted aubergines showing how easy it can be to prepare a special dish at home. They called upon people up and down the country to support the Great British Sunday Lunch event on Sunday 2 April by creating their own tasty dishes and hosting friends and family to raise money for the RAF’s leading welfare charity.

Endorsed by Dame Barbara Windsor, Amanda Redman, Sir David Jason, Sue Holderness and Carol Vorderman, the Great British Sunday Lunch is also supported by top chefs including the Hairy Bikers, Michel Roux Jnr, Tom Kitchin and Ken Hom, who have provided meal ideas for the event.

Stuart Robinson, a gold medal winner at the Invictus Games and a member of Team GB Olympic wheelchair rugby squad, said:

“Sunday lunch is a great British tradition that families can enjoy together, so why not sit down on Sunday 2 April and host a meal in aid of the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund. I have been fortunate enough to have been supported by the Fund since sustaining my injuries in 2013 and their help has enabled me to live a normal life as a husband and a father. Having seen first-hand what a difference they make to both our veterans and those serving today, I encourage people across the country to get involved and give something back.”

Dame Barbara Windsor said: “I am always humbled when I hear stories about the men and women of the Royal Air Force and the sacrifices they have made. Without their bravery we would not enjoy the freedom we have today, and I think it’s important that we do all that we can to thank them.”

Michael Wilson, Head Chef at the iconic art-deco Midland Hotel in Morecambe, said:“It’s been an honour, privilege and inspiration to have met Stuart and prepare a meal together at his family home for this campaign. The RAF Benevolent Fund’s Great British Sunday Lunch is a fantastic fundraising idea and The Midland was keen to be involved in supporting such a worthy cause. Members of the RAF, and all our UK armed forces, continually make brave sacrifices and deserve all the support we can give to them, and the charities that support them.”

The money raised from the Great British Sunday Lunch will go towards supporting the vital work the RAF Benevolent Fund does to support the whole RAF family, from the youngest child on an RAF station, to RAF veterans living in retirement. Last year the RAF Benevolent Fund spent over £20 million helping more than 40,000 members of the RAF family with financial, practical and emotional support.

Mike Neville, Director of Fundraising at the RAF Benevolent Fund said: “The Fund receives no routine Government funding so events like the Great British Sunday Lunch are essential to enable us to carry out the work we do. Last time our brilliant supporters held some truly inspiring lunches from hanger dances in New Zealand to street parties in Buckinghamshire. We are looking forward to see what they do this year.”

For more information on the Great British Sunday Lunch, or to sign up to host your own event, please visit www.rafbf.org/gbsl.