Dreamflight 2016: Changing Children's Lives
Each October Dreamflight charters a Boeing 747 and takes 192 children, with a serious illness or disability, together with a full medical team of volunteer doctors, physiotherapists and nurses, as well as non-medical helpers, for a 10 day stay. The children leave their families behind giving them an
October 2016 - March 2017
Unfortunately there are too many deserving children across the UK suffering with a serious illness or disability, and many also from deprived backgrounds. Often they are cared for round-the-clock by their families and carers, and rarely get to experience the things other children might experience. Aside from the pain and discomfort of their illness, they often feel they are alone or the ‘odd one out’, a sense that can stay with children throughout their lives. Dreamflight aims to change this.
Dreamflight aims to help these children realise their potential by doing something medicine can’t: give confidence, independence and a sense of fun. With the help of our team of volunteer doctors, physiotherapists and other volunteers we take the children without their parents on their 'holiday of a lifetime' to meet others in a similar situation and develop lifelong friendships, as well as experiencing the thrills of the theme parks in Orlando during their 10-day trip.
To send 16 children (from 12 regions throughout the UK) on their holiday of a lifetime.
Activities» Invite nominations for deserving children from local hospitals, community nurses, physiotherapists and other medical professionals.
» Once children are selected, send formal invitations and organise get-togethers with adult carers to ensure each child is comfortable and happy.
» Welcome party at Heathrow, flight to Orlando and 10 night stay, visiting a different theme park every day, including a dolphin swim.
» Each child receives a personalised 'movie' of their trip and a reunion to see it on the big screen in a cinema with their regional group.
Returning to the UK with children who tell us that the experience has changed their lives and they will never forget Dreamflight. We also send a survey to each child/family.
Following each trip, we receive letters from children and their parents telling us how much the experience meant to them, and how it truly changed their lives through developing confidence, life-long friendships and a 'can do' attitude. At the 2008 Beijing Olympics 8 of the returning paralympians, many of them medal-winning, were past Dreamflight children citing the trip as a turning point for them. One, the swimmer Liz Johnson, is now a Patron of the charity.
Dreamflight has been operating for 30 years and has experience of dealing with the many challenges that can occur with such a project. Each child is independently assessed by a senior physiotherapist with regard to his/her moving and handling requirements. All volunteers undergo an Enhanced DBS check. All volunteers are trained in and closely follow our Safeguarding Children policy and Lost Child Procedure. We also take enough medical staff and supplies to cover every eventuality.
Information on the project is posted daily on the Dreamflight website and social media pages before, during and after the trip. We share video footage of the children's experience, and letters and testimonials as they are received. We also have a newsletter to update donors and supporters with news.
Budget - Project Cost: £56,000Loading graph....
Amount Heading Description £14,667 Travel & Food Including to US and within the UK £8,400 Accommodation In Orlando and the UK, including half board and entertainment £13,333 Medical Expenses Any medical costs in the UK for 16 children plus equipment that travels with us as necessary £11,200 Theme Park Entry Entry costs to all parks during the 10 days, including swimming with dolphins £8,400 Other gifts Including Reunion Parties and producing DVDs for each child
The project is a 10 day holiday of a lifetime to Orlando, Florida for 16 children from across the UK, starting with a party and overnight stay in London.
16 children aged 8-14 who are or have been seriously ill, or have a disability. We aim to select children who would never otherwise have such an opportunity due to their medical conditions and/or social circumstances, and who would benefit most. Other key beneficiaries include the parents or carers of the children, who receive respite from care and a confident, happy child on their return. Plus the hundreds of volunteers who care for the children on the trip.
The 2016 trip with be the 30th that we have organised and we are the only charity to charter a 747 and take so many children away at the same time. More than 5500 children have benefited from the experience so far. We have a wonderful network of volunteers, mostly medical professionals, who care for the children on the trip. When the children are away from home they grow in independence make friends with others who have experienced difficulties, which often continues upon their return.
Read more about the Charity running this project.
Dreamflight Director - manages the Charity and its volunteers
Pat is the Co-Founder of the Charity and a current Trustee
Fundraising Manager - responsible for all aspects of fundraising for the Charity