Jack Raymond stops flying jets to fight poverty

Former pilot Jack Raymond has become the new chair of the UK branch of Israeli charity Meir Panim, established to help alleviate and diminish the effects of poverty on families across Israel.

Mr Raymond, 54, spent more than 25 years in the aviation industry before deciding to take on the new role. He tells People: "I was introduced to Meir Panim and when I realised how many people there are in Israel living below the poverty line, I felt I should do something to help.

"There are so many good charities already established but we have a very good group of people who are eager to help the needy in Israel."

Mr Raymond, who used to fly private jets and helicopters for several celebrities — although he is reluctant to disclose names — says he will use his contacts to help with the cause. "My biggest aim initially is to raise awareness."

He lives in Finchley, north London, but often visits Israel and hopes to move there at some point in the future.

    Last updated: 3:37pm, February 18 2010