British Airways (BA) ‘Dreamflight’ set off from Heathrow on Sunday taking 192 children on their 10-day dream holiday to Florida.
Co-founded by retired British Airways cabin crew member, Patricia Pearce MBE, Dreamflight is a UK charity focused on changing young lives by taking seriously ill and disabled children from all over the UK on a life-changing holiday to Disney World and Florida. Operating every year since 1987, ‘Dreamflight’ has been supported by British Airways since the beginning, helping over 5,000 children in total.
The especially liveried ‘Dreamflight’ aircraft, a British Airways Boeing 747, is chartered once a year, and children spend 10 fun-filled days away from family in Florida, discovering freedom, self-confidence, and a new outlook on life. During their holiday, they will visit Disney and Universal parks and also swim with Dolphins at Sea Worlds’ discovery cove.
Long-term patron of the charity, Sir Cliff Richard, was present to see the children off, along with gardening TV celebrity, Charlie Dimmock, who will be accompanying two children on the trip.
Sir Cliff said: ‘Dreamflight is a charity very close to my heart and I’m so pleased I can be part of this day to see the joy, and happiness this trip to Florida brings the children.’
British Airways captain, Andrew Bean, said: ‘I feel honoured to be flying the Dreamflight group of children to Florida. The children are such an inspiration to us all and it’s wonderful to be part of this special trip.’
Dreamflight children have made remarkable achievements in life. According to the website, in 2008, eight of the Paralympians who competed in Beijing, including the charity’s patron, Liz Johnson, had been Dreamflight children. Liz won Gold in the 100m Breaststroke at the Beijing 2008 Paralympics, and now provides great support for Dreamflight. She also serves as an inspiration for the children with her success story of becoming a world-class athlete.