On Friday 15th June, JET’s eight annual dinner took place beneath the wings of the Lancaster at the RAF museum in London. A fitting setting during the RAF100 year to celebrate the achievements of JET and the young people JET has helped in the past year.

JET endeavours to promote the voice of young people in everything we do, and this event was no exception. The evening was opened by Youth Ambassador Tamayha, who introduced the main theme of the evening – JET’s core value of Inspiration – and passionately shared how her three years on the Blue Skies programme had inspired her to follow her dreams.

Throughout the evening, guests heard first-hand from students about their experiences with JET and the positive paths their lives are now taking.

Former Blue Skies Student Jess said that Blue Skies had shaped her from unfocused and not always the best behaved, to head girl of her school with her sights set on a career as an RAF medic or nurse. While Youth Ambassador, Bethany said that her confidence had blossomed through the programme and she is now excited to support and encourage the next cohort of students to grasp their opportunity with JET.

JET Patron Air Marshal Stuart Atha talking to JET CEO Dr Emma Egging and JET youth Ambassadors.

JET Patron Air Marshal Stuart Atha gave an impassioned oration demonstrating his pride in the success of the Trust and thanking the hundreds of volunteers, both military and civilian, that facilitate our programmes.

A vital element of JET’s programme delivery is learning through activity, so we decided to put that into practice with our guests. Each table was tasked with nominating a leader and then, with their table teammates, designing and building a model out of Lego. Each table had 100 pieces of red white and blue Lego, and they had to come up with a design to represent RAF 100. The results were outstanding: a drone, an aircraft, and stairway to heaven hangar (!) to name but a few.

Competition was fierce and Comedian Eddie Izzard with JET patron Air Marshall Stuart Atha had the unenviable task of selecting a winner. That went to the Rolls Royce table who created a meandering tower (that arguably a toddler could have constructed) to represent the RAF reaching for the stars. Their winning entry earned them a magnum of champagne and derision from the rest of the room.

With thanks to the incredible prizes donated by our supporters for the auction and raffle, the evening raised more than £23,000 in funds.

CEO Dr Emma Egging thanking our first cohort of Youth Ambassadors for their support

Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshall Sir Stephen Hillier accepting our inaugural Team of the Year award on behalf of the Royal Air Force, whose serving and veteran members contribute so much to JET and our young people. The awards were designed and donated by Cobham Plc. one of our partners in Dorset.

Thank you to everyone who came, celebrated, Lego-participated and contributed to a very special evening.

JET’S next annual dinner will take place in March 2019 with further details tbc. If you are interested in purchasing tickets for the next annual dinner or providing an auction prize, please get in touch and #JETinvolved with helping young people across the UK to reach their potential.