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Dreamflight 2017: Changing Children's Lives
Each October Dreamflight hires a plane and takes 192 children (with a serious illness or disability) and a full medical team of volunteer doctors, physiotherapists and nurses, for a 10 day stay in Orlando. The trip gives them a chance to discover independence, confidence and a whole new outlook on l
April 2017 - March 2018
Charity information: Dreamflight
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.
What success will look like
After the trip the children say that the experience has changed their lives & that they will never forget it. We send a survey to each child & their family for their feedback.
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 by developing confidence, life-long friendships and a 'can do' attitude. At each of the recent Paralympic Games, several of the medal-winning athletes were past Dreamflight children and have cited 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 31 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 the US and within the UK £8,400 Accommodation In Orlando and UK, including half board and entertainment £13,333 Medical Expenses Any medical costs in the US for 16 children,plus equipment which travels with us as necessary £11,200 Theme Park Entry Tickets To all parks during the 10 days, including swimming with dolphins £8,400 Other Gifts/Reunions etc Gifts, reunions parties, producing films 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 2017 trip with be the 31st 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 5600 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.
Director, Dreamflight - Sally manages the charity and all volunteers.
Patricia Pearce MBE
Pat is the co-Founder of Dreamflight and a current Trustee.