A TEAM of RAF personnel who decided to raise money for a Darlington hospice during a tour of duty in Afghanistan have almost reached their target.

The members of 1310 Flight from 18/27 Engineering Squadron have been steadily bench-pressing the weight of the entire RAF aircraft fleet to raise money for St Teresa’s Hospice for the last two months.

The squadron, based at RAF Odiham, in Hampshire, and currently on duty at Camp Bastion, in Helmand Province, have collectively lifted more 7m kilograms and have almost reached their target of 9,872,970 kilograms – the combined weight of every aircraft in the RAF fleet.

The squadron, which is responsible for the forces’ heavy-lift Chinook helicopters, formally adopted St Teresa’s following a visit to the hospice in December 2011.

David Jones, senior events manager at the hospice, who is also a former serving member of the RAF Regiment, said: “It’s fantastic to see a squadron taking time during their operational duties to raise funds for a much-needed cause. Everyone here at the hospice greatly admires their effort.”

To sponsor the team, visit justgiving.com/Jamie-Jones2