AN RAF Brize Norton bagpiper won the RAF Benevolent Fund’s Above and Beyond title at the charity’s annual awards last night in London.

SAC Mark Bisset, 'dubbed the Spicy Piper', is an RAF Reservist on 501 Squadron and has raised £21,589 for the Fund over the last 18 months – all by playing his bagpipes.

He explained: “I’ve been so inspired by all the amazing work that the RAF Benevolent Fund does, and I know countless people who’ve directly benefitted from it.

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“To be honest, I’ve collected just as many donations from people who’ve asked me to stop playing as I have from those who have enjoyed my performance.

"But don’t worry – I don’t plan on stopping any time soon.”

Mr Bisset began raising money for the RAF Benevolent Fund by distributing and managing collection tins in local pubs, but now goes out several evenings a week to play his pipes and collect. The father-of-two also sacrificed his weekends to play his bagpipes at all five Battle Proms concerts last year.

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He also champions the cause on social media, helping build awareness for the charity at the same time as raising much-needed funds.

Now in its seventh year, the RAF Benevolent Fund Awards recognise the outstanding contributions of its supporters, personnel on stations and corporate partners who support the charity each year.

This year the Fund marks its 100th anniversary and to mark the milestone, it launched a major campaign earlier this week to double the number of people it helps.

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Air Vice-Marshal David Murray, Chief Executive at the RAF Benevolent Fund, said: “Huge congratulations to SAC Mark Bisset for this well-deserved award. Our annual awards night is a fantastic opportunity to thank all of our incredible fundraisers and supporters, their enthusiasm and generosity truly means the world to us.

“This year’s awards take place in our centenary year, and this week we launched a major campaign to double the number of people we reach. This means that spreading the word about how the Fund can support the RAF Family is just as important as raising funds.

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“By tirelessly showing his support and dedication, Mark is helping us achieve both goals, and for that I can’t begin to express our gratitude. From all of us here at the Fund – thank you.”

The award was presented at the event at Plaisterers’ Hall in London.