Dreamflight celebrates three decades of providing children with serious illness or disability their trip of a lifetime

Dreamflight celebrates three decades of providing children with serious illness or disability their trip of a lifetime
Dreamflight celebrates three decades of providing children with serious illness or disability their trip of a lifetime


LONDON, 2016-Oct-18 — /Travel PR News/ — To celebrate an incredible three decades of the charity Dreamflight, a supercharged send-off at Heathrow saw Paralympian heroes, joined by TV presenter and mum of two Myleene Klass, wave off the trip that changed their lives when they were children.

Myleene Klass said: “It’s been an absolute pleasure meeting the children here today. Dreamflight is a unique charity and it’s been wonderful to see how excited the kids are to be flying to Florida in style on their own private British Airways jet.”

Hundreds of excited youngsters were inspired to realise their dreams as they met Gold medalist Paralympians Natasha Baker MBE (Dressage rider), David Smith (Boccia), and Sascha Kindred (Swimming), who flew in especially to meet them before their departure on Dreamflight, bound for Orlando, Florida.

Every year Dreamflight raises funds to enable a specially chartered British Airways jumbo jet to fly almost 200 children with a serious illness or disability to Florida to enjoy a fun packed ten-day trip of a lifetime, where the youngsters spend time at attractions including Walt Disney World, SeaWorld and Universal Studios.

Natasha Baker MBE and David Smith, who both won Gold at the Rio 2016 Paralympics last month, travelled on the trip when they were younger and came back this year to celebrate Dreamflight’s anniversary and share their stories with the children. 37 Paralympic medals have been won by former Dreamflight children.

Natasha Baker MBE said: “Dreamflight totally changed my life. I went from being such a dependent, shy child to a confident young lady and it’s just great to see that it can happen to so many other people.”

British Airways comes together with the Dreamflight team each year to make the departure an extra-special event. An army of volunteers, including Darth Vader, his Stormtroopers, the Air Cadet National Marching Band and British Airways cabin crew and pilots were at Heathrow to see the children board the Boeing 747 through a magical castle.

Since the first flight in 1987, more than 5,400 children have flown on ‘Dreamflight’, and for many – it’s the very first time they’ve travelled abroad and been away without their family. The young fliers are accompanied by the Dreamflight team, British Airways cabin crew, and a fully trained medical team, which includes doctors, nurses and physiotherapists, on hand 24 hours a day throughout the trip.

British Airways Senior First Officer, Rebecca Statham said: “This is my first year flying the Dreamflight aircraft to Florida. The children are such an inspiration to us all, and I feel honoured to be part of the British Airways team supporting this wonderful once-in-a-lifetime trip.”

For more information on Dreamflight, please visit: www.dreamflight.org.

Notes to Editors:

Dreamflight is a UK charity, co-founded by former British Airways cabin crew member, Patricia Pearce MBE.

British Airways staff donate their time to support the departure from Heathrow each year.

5,638 children will have been on Dreamflight by the end of 2016 7,480 screams on Thunder Mountain
83 doctors have supported the children during the Dreamflight trip 4,228 photos taken with Mickey Mouse
287 nurses have worked with the children on the Dreamflight trip 2,304 dolphin kisses at Discovery Cove
103 BA flight crew have worked on the Dreamflight aircraft 16,914 ice creams eaten
305 US volunteers have helped children during their stay in America 37 Paralympic medals won by former Dreamflight children
11 different theme parks are visited every year £3,500 the current cost of each child place on Dreamflight

To raise awareness and encourage donations, Dreamflight is launching a social media campaign called ‘London to Florida on a paper plane’ today. People all over the world will take part in the world’s longest paper plane flight by simply filming themselves throwing a paper plane on camera, uploading the video to Twitter and/or Facebook, and nominating three people to do the same.

Every throw of a paper plane counts as 1km of the 7,058km it takes to fly from London to Florida, and all the videos will be brought together to create the longest paper plane journey ever recorded. To get involved follow @Dreamflight on Twitter or Facebook.

For more information please contact press.office@ba.com

Source:  British Airways