Thirty young carers (and one very apprehensive support worker!) attended a flight experience at Shuttleworth.
See the fantastic video of the day here courtesy of the organiser, Wayne Precious.
Many flew the Piper Cherokee which is part of a family of light aircraft. This particular plane has been in circulation for 51 years.
We were briefed before the flight by Captain Smith (pronounced Smiiith) as to what we should expect and explained the logistics around flying a plane and how it achieves flight using air pressure. Following this brief we were all raring to get on the plane.
Family and friends were able to enjoy the sun in the holding area, many of whom brought picnics and made a full day of it. They were also offered free admission to the collection and the Swiss Gardens. They all took photos of the young cares as they were taking their flight and one parent commented that it was nice that they were the ones in the spotlight for once.
"Fabio and Paolo had a fantastic day Sunday..they were so excited from the minute they woke up, we even got there 2 hours early! They enjoyed the flight and said they'd love to do it again, Thank you very much for this fabulous experience and a fun day."
"I thought the day was excellent well organised and well executed, we were given all the required information in advance so there was no doubt what was happening on the day and then from when we arrived till when we left just went so smoothl. Being able to visit the Shuttleworth Collection was an added bonus, this is what Joe wrote for me.....'I enjoyed my plane flight experience. I liked the view the most as you could see different places from a viewpoint that you wouldn't do normally. It would've been better if there wasn't a slight breeze going up my leg and the flight was a little bit longer. Overall though I enjoyed the whole experiance thank you.'"
"I am writing to say a huge thank you and Carers in Bedfordshire for arranging for Luke & Claire to take part in the Smiles in the Skies event last Sunday. It was a once in a lifetime experience for both of them and certainly put a smile on their faces. I understand that Carers in Bedfordshire provided over 30 children for the event, about a third of the total."
"I want to say a huge thank you to both Carers In Bedfordshire and Azure/ Smiles in the Skies for the opportunity for David and Christina to go for a flight last Sunday at Shuttleworth. It was really a fantastic experience for them. I think they broke the world record for the use of the word 'awesome' when talking about it on the way home.
Wayne Precious did a great job of organising things, and Shuttleworth were so very kind in not only allowing and assisting the event to take place there, but in even providing complimentary tickets for the adults to visit either The Collection or The Swiss Garden. Special mention should also go to the fantastic team of pilots who not only did more take-offs and landings in a day than they normally have hot dinners in a month, they also covered their fuel costs too.
Thank you, from the whole family, to Carers in Bedfordshire for the opportunity, and to everyone involved for the gift of such a wonderful experience for our young carers."