Sir Cliff Richard is a patron and long-standing supporter of Dreamflight and has often waved goodbye - in person - as the trip leaves for Florida. Here he explains what that means to him...
"If anyone has any doubts about the value and impact of Dreamflight on the lives of sick children, they should watch the faces of youngsters boarding a BA 747 for their Holiday of a Lifetime to Florida.
For many years now I've been privileged to join the farewell party in a huge Heathrow hangar just prior to the October boarding and departure. I tell you it would take the stoniest of hearts not to be profoundly moved. 192 children, some attached to oxygen tubes, some showing the effects of chemotherapy, some with major co-ordination problems, amazingly find the courage to smile and seemingly forget for a while their sicknesses and disabilities.
As they walk or are carried or wheeled by their carers to the aircraft behind the band of the Royal Welsh Regiment, I'm always humbled by their courage and inspired by the selflessness and compassion of the volunteers and escorts who give up their leave to accompany these children. I've often said that I find involvement with a charity often brings me far more than I could ever offer. Unarguably, that's true of Dreamflight."
Having been a Dreamflight child herself in 1997, Liz followed her dreams and has gone on to great achievements, including winning Gold at the Beijing 2008 Paralympics in the 100m Breaststroke. More than 10 years after her Dreamflight experience, and now a Patron of the charity, Liz provides great support for Dreamflight and is an inspiration for the children with her story of success as a world-class athlete.
One of the world’s leading Golfers, Ian is passionate about his charitable work and is a great supporter of Dreamflight. As a Patron of the charity, Ian has seen first hand the work of Dreamflight from his home in Florida. "If I can do anything with what I do in the game of golf to see these kids benefit, I’m happy to do more and more, to make sure we get more and more children to Orlando having the time of their lives."
Charlie has been involved with Dreamflight since 2004 and has been on every annual trip since. As well as being a Patron of the charity, Charlie undertakes the role of Children’s Escort on Dreamflight, looking after 2 children for 15 hours a day, every day. Charlie’s passion for, and care of the children, is apparent to everyone involved at Dreamflight and her support is invaluable.
Built & Developed By Brainstorm Design Agency, Leeds