AVIATION charity fly2help hosted an exciting flying adventure day at Goodwood Aerodrome on Tuesday 1st July for families who have recently been bereaved.

Many of the families who attended the Air Smiles Day have been supported by the leading childhood bereavement charity in the UK, Winston’s Wish.

Families supported by Winston’s Wish met the fly2help team at Goodwood Aerodrome for a very special Air Smiles Day; an exciting flying adventure day tailored to the physical and emotional needs of beneficiaries, centred around a magical shared flight in an aircraft.

These days create joy, fun and laughter and offer respite and escapism for those experiencing difficult situations such as life-limiting or chronic illness, disability, bereavement, poverty or isolation.

fly2help CEO Felicia Willow explained: “An Air Smiles Day is often the only chance our beneficiaries will have to fly and we feel privileged to witness the incredible effect of these days. We are so proud of the tangible impact this experience has on beneficiaries, which we have been providing since 2006”.

The beneficiaries were split into four teams, named after aircraft on the airfield; Spitfire, Tiger Moth, Harvard and Chipmunk. Each team participated in five activities throughout the day as follows:

  • Aircraft manufacturer Cessna kindly donated flights in their Cessna Caravan and took everyone for a 25 minute flight to gaze at the stunning local countryside.
  • The Boultbee Spitfire Academy opened their hangar doors and everyone got to sit on the wing of the iconic Spitfire and inside the Harvard aircraft.
  • Mithril Racing Team brought their fleet of supercars for everyone to sit in, which included their Aston Martin DB4 that has recently been driven by Prince Harry.
  • Goodwood Aerodrome Manager Rob Wildeboer led a tour around the historic aerodrome, pointing out landmarks and along the way.
  • Advanced Flight Training School Ultimate High arranged for everyone to sit inside their Bulldog aircraft to find out about how an aircraft works.

Felicia added: “It was an absolute pleasure to arrange this special Air Smiles Day for families who have recently been bereaved.

The day was such fun and full of unique experiences. We hope that fly2help was able to help create new memories, offer respite and give some joy, fun and laughter to everyone who came along.”

The families enjoyed lunch in the Old Control Tower, with fly2help mascot Douglas Bear [pictured] joining for hugs and honey sandwiches throughout the day.

At the end of the day the children were presented with goody bags and flight certificates.

Liz Thatcher, Community Fundraiser at Winston’s Wish, was also thrilled with the day’s activities: “We can’t thank fly2help enough for giving our families a great opportunity to share an unforgettable experience.

We’re so glad that the day was a resounding success and everyone left with Air Smiles!”

Winston’s Wish, the leading childhood bereavement charity in the UK, supports bereaved children and families, helping them to rebuild their lives after the death of a loved one.

This enables them to face the future with confidence and hope.