Charities give youngsters a day to remember at airport

Flying high: Volunteers from fly2help and Amelia’s Rainbow with the youngsters, and their families, who enjoyed a day out at Bournemouth Airport.

Eleven children with a life-limiting illness or severe disability received the VIP treatment when they spent the day at Bournemouth Airport.

Aviation charity fly2help joined forces with Bournemouth-based charity Amelia’s Rainbow to organise an ‘Air Smiles’ day for the children and their families.

The activities ranged from using the hoses of a Dorset and Wilts Fire and Rescue engine, trying the siren of a National Police Air Service car and – the highlight for many – a flight in a Gulfstream G450 aircraft.

Lyn Hartman, a trustee with fly2help, said the day lived up to its name.

She added: “The huge grins on the faces of the children after the flight was a delight.  One little girl told me the best bit was ‘we flew right into a cloud’.

“We’re so grateful to all the volunteers who made the day so special and a particular big thank you to Bliss Aviation, Gama Aviation and Bournemouth Airport.

“This year marked the 13th anniversary of fly2help being founded by pilot Phill O’Dell who first got his love of flying at Bournemouth Airport.

“In the last three years, alone, our Air Smiles programme has given 1,000 beneficiaries a day full of smiles and memories using the power of flight,” said Lyn.

Amelia’s Rainbow was set up following the death of eight-year-old Amelia Grace Cooper in 2010.

Amelia died of an aggressive form of childhood cancer called neuroblastoma.

The charity named in her honour supports children in Dorset and the surrounding area who are suffering from a life-limiting illness or disability.

Stephen Gill, Bournemouth Airport’s Managing Director, said: “Both fly2help and Amelia’s Rainbow are fantastic charities and we were only too pleased to play our part in providing the youngsters, and their families, a day to remember.”

Notes to Editors:

Airports

Regional & City Airports (RCA) is the UK’s leading regional airport operator, led by a team with proven commercial and operational expertise in both the airport and airline sectors. RCA owns Bournemouth Airport, Coventry Airport, Exeter Airport and Norwich Airport, and operates Blackpool Airport, City of Derry Airport and Solent Airport Daedalus on behalf of their owners. RCA also operates XLR Executive Jet Centres (XLR), the renowned boutique FBO business. XLR has centres at Birmingham, Exeter and Liverpool airports.

Regional airports are vitally important to the economic development of regions in which they are located. RCA’s vision is to help regional airports to prosper through effective management and collaboration, enabling them to benefit from the economies of scale and sharing of best practice traditionally enjoyed by much larger airports.

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