I joined the Royal Air Forces Association (RAFA) as an assistant accountant in 2017. I still had my professional exams to complete and I was working towards these with online learning, while spending my evenings and weekends at my local university library. Two years later I became a fully qualified ACCA member and I was promoted to deputy financial controller. I had never felt as delighted and proud as I did on the day I received my certificate in the post - all that hard work and dedication had finally paid off.

The pandemic has shown that RAFA needs to continuously develop and diversify its income streams

RAFA is a service welfare charity that provides support to all generations of RAF service personnel and their families. This might be for an injured airman striving to get back on their feet, a young child missing their parent on an overseas operation, or a World War II veteran needing a shoulder to lean on. We have thousands of members and volunteers across the UK.

The pandemic has had a significant impact on our finances. The majority of our income is from fundraising events, such as ‘Challenge Yourself’, ‘Wings Appeal’ and air shows. Because the nature of these events has been incompatible with Covid regulations, we’ve had to innovate and consider newer and safer ways of fundraising. Ultimately, the pandemic has shown that RAFA needs to continuously develop and diversify its income streams to remain resilient and capable of delivering the important work that it does. Despite the ongoing global catastrophe, the board of trustees and management are confident that RAFA will recover over time.

Knowing that I am part of ACCA is empowering, as it gives me a real sense of achievement. ACCA's resources have been really helpful in helping me stay up to date with what is happening. I’ve found the panel members’ meetings, online webinars and coffee and chat series really beneficial. I am also part of ACCA’s Leicester panel, which gives me access to a network of mentors, advisers and peers.

My goal is to be one of the best in my chosen field. I will be continually refining my skillsets and knowledge base to ensure I get to the top and stay there.