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RAF Wittering helps with coronavirus testing at Bourne Grammar School




An RAF team ‘flew in’ to support the coronavirus testing of pupils and staff in a secondary school.

Like other schools across the area, Bourne Grammar is ensuring the safety of its vulnerable children, the children of key workers and its teaching staff by testing them for Covid-19.

On Tuesday last week (January 12) a team from RAF Wittering arrived to provide guidance and feedback on the school’s testing process.

SAC Kayleigh Coleman from RAF Wittering assists a pupil with the coronavirus app. Photo: SAC Kimberley Waterson
SAC Kayleigh Coleman from RAF Wittering assists a pupil with the coronavirus app. Photo: SAC Kimberley Waterson

For the headteacher, Alastair Anderson, the arrival of the team from RAF Wittering was welcome.

He said: “We are delighted to have an RAF support team on site to assist us with developing a high-quality testing programme. Their input will be invaluable in keeping our staff and students safe.”

School staff and the team from RAF Wittering assembled in a carefully marked out area as the first 10 pupils arrived for testing.

The RAF team leader, Corporal Anthony Burnham-Bamford, in conversation with a member of school staff. Photo: SAC Kimberley Waterson
The RAF team leader, Corporal Anthony Burnham-Bamford, in conversation with a member of school staff. Photo: SAC Kimberley Waterson

Each was taken through the test procedure, with the RAF team offering guidance to make the process as secure as possible.

The RAF team was from No 2 Mechanical Transport Squadron, part of the RAF’s A4 Force.

Comprised principally of specialist engineering and logistics squadrons, the A4 Force also includes RAF Music Services and the RAF Mountain Rescue Service.

Senior Aircraftman Kayleigh Coleman, 27, is a driver with No 2 Mechanical Transport Squadron, based at RAF Wittering. Kayleigh said: “It was weird, heading back to school, but helping the teachers and students get their testing process off to a good start was great. We are helping to keep people safe, which is so important now.”

One of the school staff during the testing process. Photo: SAC Kimberley Waterson
One of the school staff during the testing process. Photo: SAC Kimberley Waterson

The team leader from RAF Wittering was Corporal Anthony Burnham-Bamford, 39.

He said: “It’s been good. We’ve not come to dictate; we are bringing our expertise to assist the school.”

Both regular and reserve personnel from RAF Wittering have been involved with coronavirus testing and have played a role in the Government’s response to the pandemic, including the delivery of oxygen to hospitals.

Headteacher Alastair Anderson in conversation with the team from RAF Wittering. Photo: SAC Kimberley Waterson
Headteacher Alastair Anderson in conversation with the team from RAF Wittering. Photo: SAC Kimberley Waterson

Group Captain Jo Lincoln is station commander at RAF Wittering and commanding officer of the A4 Force Elements.

She said: “I am proud that personnel from RAF Wittering are helping our local community to keep their students and teachers safe during the pandemic.

“Assisting our local community in this way could help save lives, and it’s an honour that my personnel have been called upon to assist.”

A coronavirus test in action. Photo: SAC Kimberley Waterson
A coronavirus test in action. Photo: SAC Kimberley Waterson


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