Cadet from Louth follows his childhood dream

Cadet Corporal Alfie Williams received his Flying Scholarship from Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier at the RAF Association's Annual Conference.
Cadet Corporal Alfie Williams received his Flying Scholarship from Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier at the RAF Association's Annual Conference.

A teenager from Louth, who was inspired by watching the RAF deliver humanitarian aid on the news, is one of 11 teenagers awarded flying lessons for their commitment to the work of a military charity.

Cadet Corporal Alfie Williams received his Flying Scholarship from Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier at the RAF Association’s Annual Conference.

Alfie, an RAF Air Cadet at King Edward VI Grammar School, received the flying lessons for his commitment to the work of the Royal Air Forces Association, which supports the RAF family.

He and his fellow cadets were presented with their scholarships at the RAF Association’s annual conference by the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief 
Marshal Hillier.

Alfie (16) said: “I remember first becoming interested in joining the RAF when I saw them delivering humanitarian aid into a conflict area on the evening news, though I can’t remember where – I was very young. My older sister Roisin had already joined the local cadets, so I decided to follow her.”

Alfie, who is currently studying for his GCSEs, hopes to become an RAF pilot and one day fly some of the RAF’s larger, multi-engine aircraft, such as the Airbus Atlas.

He continued: “I’ve been putting a lot of time and effort into the cadets, for example organising a sponsored hike which will take place later this year. After being fascinated by the RAF for so long it was a real honour for me to meet the Chief of the Air Staff.

The flying lessons will take place over the summer at South Warwickshire Flying School. Depending on their rate of progress, the course could earn the 
Flying Scholars their light aircraft pilot licence.

Group Captain Del Rowlands, Director of Membership for the RAF Association, said: “We’re delighted to be offering these dedicated young people the chance to learn to fly through our Flying Scholarships.

“This year’s applicants were particularly strong, and on behalf of the Association I’d like to wish them all the best during their courses and in their future careers.”

More than 250 young people applied for a place on the 2019 Flying Scholarships.

Two of the scholarships (including Alfie’s) are sponsored by the Aviation Focus Group, which promotes the exchange of aviation information and encourages young people interested in the industry, and three of them by MBDA, a multi-national defence contractor.

The RAF Association is funding the other six.

The RAF Association will be inviting applications for the 2020 Flying Scholarships in the coming months.

For more information or to register your interest, call 0800 018 2361, or email membership@rafa.org.uk