We were delighted when aviation charity fly2help contacted The CCT to invite some of the families from The CCT’s Childhood Cancer Support Groups to be recipients of their Charity Air Smiles Day on Friday 17th August.

It was a wonderful opportunity for our families to do something together and to escape for a day from the struggles of their daily lives to create long-lasting happy memories. The group met in the morning at the Lookout Café at Biggin Hill Airport. The weather could not have been any better, a perfect day for flying. The families were split into three teams; Hurricane, Spitfire and Hawk to take part in the various sessions planned throughout the day. This included taking to the skies on an amazing 30-minute flight aboard one of fly2helps’s specialist light aircrafts.

For some, this was the first time they had ever flown! The teams spent time with the London Fire Brigade trying out their equipment, including firing the hoses and dressing up in their uniforms. They also rode on a fire engine with the sirens flashing and whirring – loudly! They participated in a crime scene investigation with the Metropolitan Police that involved taking fingerprints and ‘mug’ shots (photos). Thankfully, no arrests! There were several police officers from various sections, including police dogs Ramsey and Riley entertaining everyone with their special police training skills. The riot van also proved extremely popular, as it was equipped with lots of specialist equipment for the children to play with. Other activities throughout the day included face painting, balloon modelling and a magic show. In the afternoon, all eyes turned to the sky for the arrival of the fabulous Red Arrows (The Royal Air Force’s Aerobic Team).

Everyone was mesmerised by their special aerobatic manoeuvres as they came in to land. The pilots then popped in to say hello, spending time chatting to the families, handing out posters and taking photos. Georgina Godfree, the programme delivery co-ordinator at fly2help, said: “For over a decade, we’ve been working to create life-changing experiences for young people who deserve it the most. Fly2help uses the wonder of flight to give its beneficiaries a boost; I’m so pleased we’ve been able to provide this fantastic experience for families from The Chartwell Cancer Trust.” Georgina not only organised the whole day, but also personally made a fantastic Chocolate Guinness cake, which everyone agreed tasted delicious.

The event concluded with the Mayor of Bromley, Councillor Kim Botting, presenting each family with flight certificates and goodie bags and thanked everyone, including fly2help and The CCT, for making it such a special day. Michelle Simpson representing The CCT said: “This incredible ‘Air Smiles Day’ was sponsored by two of fly2help’s individual supporters; we are so thankful to them for enabling this day to happen. Thank you Georgina and fly2help, the Police, the London Fire Brigade, the fly2help Pilots and the Red Arrows for making the day so special.

Also huge thanks to Signature Flight Support, London Biggin Hill Airport, Fayre Do’s Location and Event Caterers, the Lookout Café, Krazy K Parties, Hoopstar Entertainment as well as all the fly2help staff, volunteers and supporters who gave up their time to help out. We were honoured to be the beneficiaries of such a wonderful day.”