We were proud to be asked to join forces with Airbus, Eastern Airways and Bristol Airport for the second consecutive year to put on a very special festive flight in the name of charity on Friday 15th December.
Beginning with a Christmas party at Bristol Airport with a choir and a magician, the hour-long flight took families and their children – some of whom had never flown before – over the Brecon Beacons with Santa and his Elves. The event, offered to guests of the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and Children’s Hospice South West, is designed to create special memories for families with children living with complex health conditions.
The flight coincides with BHF’s Christmas Appeal, which aims to raise awareness into congenital heart disease – a range of defects that affects around 4,000 UK children each year. Although recent advances mean most children diagnosed with a congenital heart defect grow up to become adults, many face the prospect of multiple surgical operations and sadly around 400 children each year do not reach school age.
One of the lucky few to be part of the Santa flight was Calum, an 11-year-old boy from Bristol. He was diagnosed with Truncus Arteriosus, meaning he was born without one of the main arteries in his heart. He has had to undergo four major surgeries in his short life and faces a future of repeated operations.
Calum’s Mum said: “This is the first time that he has ever been on a large plane, so we wanted to keep it a surprise for him. After all he’s been through, with multiple open-heart-surgeries and weeks spent in hospital, it was heart-warming to see the huge smile on his face as he boarded the flight alongside Santa – what an incredible early Christmas present!
ACC’s Director of Operations, Glenn Hogben, commented: “It was our privilege to, once again, be able to help children and their families make some treasured festive memories.”Back to News