| Recipient Org: Description || Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome Ltd is a charitable trust dedicated to preserving and promoting the unique history of what was once RFC (later RAF) Stow Maries. We are motivated by the important role Stow Maries played in the Great War, and committed to ensuring that future generations can access and experience this unique heritage attraction with its still active runway, nestled within rural Essex. Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome (SMGWA) is considered unique as the last remaining World War One Aerodrome remaining in Europe. All other Great War Aerodromes were closed and redeveloped for other uses – be it modern aviation or other development. RFC Stow Maries was established in September 1916 as a base for 37 Home Defence Squadron - one of the new Royal Flying Corps squadrons created to defend Great Britain against the might of Imperial Germany. Set over a 79-acre site in the Essex countryside, with 47 operational buildings, Stow Maries was one of three similar aerodromes in operation during the First World War: Rochford, which is now London Southend International Airport, and Goldhanger, which has long since disappeared. Our Vision is - To restore, conserve and preserve the only operational First World War aerodrome in England, to create a skills development centre and to become a leading heritage destination in England. Our Mission is - 1. Ensure the lasting preservation and conservation of the whole site, including the built and natural heritage. 2. Research, preserve and tell the stories of the men and women who lived, worked and died at SMGWA. 3. Tell the story of London and the South East's home defence during the First World War through the interpretation and display of previously disparate collection s of the period. 4. Provide enjoyable educational heritage and learning opportunities for all audiences. 5. Deliver, with support from industry and training partners, vocational skills development and volunteering opportunities - particularly for young people. 6. Champion and be and exemplar of active participation and lifelong volunteering at the site. 7. Make accessible the natural heritage and biodiversity of the site. Deliver an exciting, engaging and varied programme of participatory events such as air displays, talks and family activities. Presently, we are working on all of our mission statements, with activity being wide and consistent. To date, we have had 4 buildings removed from Historic England’s ‘At Risk Register’. This will shortly be joined by a 5th. We open 5 days per week during the Summer period, and 3 days per week during the Winter period. Outside of these times we offer pre-booked access to groups. We have two permanent exhibitions – the 37 Squadron Museum (opened in May 2017 by HRH Duke of Gloucester) and the award-winning RFC Museum, opened in May 2016 by RH John Whittingdale, MP). We have two hangars of aircraft, including flying period reconstructions. We offer hourly tours of the site. We have a fully operation al shop and a very successful café – both housed in original buildings, sympathetically restored. We offer a packed events program – including air displays and major events, host large amounts of group visits and are represented externally all over the region by our outreach team at exhibitions and events. Our wildlife facilities continue to grow, with Hides for photographic purposes and growing relationships with education providers. We host monthly young person’s STEM educational sessions (known as Sto-KERS), as well offering holiday activities for families. We offer a unique and growing volunteering experience to over 150 persons, locally based, of all ages and abilities. We are very proud that this ranges from 20 years of age to 88. This includes all manner of activities from engineering to retail, catering to curatorial. It enables all elements of our community to come together on site with a shared interest, build memories and relationships – while contributing to a wider goal.