Another great Helping Wings Day, 7th October 2017

18 Oct 2017

In the run up to our Helping Wings Day for younger children, the weather forecast looked really promising. But as Saturday, 7th October drew closer, the picture changed with the prospect of cloudy conditions with showers. Still, it didn’t look too bad and we’ve had successful events in the past when no flying has been possible.

That later forecast proved to be fairly accurate. Our team convened at the Jersey Aero Club on the Saturday morning and agreed that we would probably complete the morning programme of around 15 flights but that we would probably not be able to fly in the afternoon, so leaving another 15 or so flights to be re-arranged for another day.

Our young guests and their families started to arrive in good time for their flights so we started early in an effort to maximise on the morning’s good weather. As always, Jersey ATC were very accommodating, requiring nothing more from us than our previously published schedule. We were due to fly around 100 people throughout the day and the more we could do before the weather closed in, the better.

Our volunteer teams at reception and dispatch were quickly into the swing of things. Our ground crew on the apron was all set up ready to ensure security around the aircraft and our pilots were briefed and their aircraft checked over.

We were off to a good start. Newly formed air charter operator, Isle Fly, had made the very generous offer of two flights in their 8 seat Cessna 406, allowing larger families to fly together taking mum, dad, brothers and sisters.

Our patron, H.E. Sir Stephen Dalton, accompanied by Lady Dalton, their daughter Elizabeth, and Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty, paid us a visit during the morning and stayed for two hours talking to the families and the children as well as our own volunteers. We even managed to get Elizabeth on one of the Isle Fly flights.

The airport’s fire service came down with two of their trucks. This is always a highlight of the day as the children are allowed to climb up into the cabs, put on jackets and helmets and operate the controls.

Chicano, the magician kept the children spell-bound in the club house whilst our super efficient kitchen team prepared the lunches - and more families continued to check in, some familiar faces, some new to Helping Wings.

Lunchtime came and went and still the weather held. Just as we were thinking that we might even finish the entire programme of flights, the cloud and visibility came down forcing us to stop flying. But, at the end of the day, only the last four flights couldn’t be flown.

There are so many” thank you” s to be said but perhaps, most important is a huge thank you to the children. Many of them live with significant problems. Some degree of frustration, from time to time, might easily be anticipated. But there was no hint of it.

Helping Wings Day for younger children is always a highlight of our year. It’s also where we started and next year will be our 10th year. Some of the children who took part in that very first event still join in and we’ll look forward to seeing them, and all our newer Helping Wings guests in 2018.

Helping Wings Day - 7th October 2017

11 Sep 2017

Our next Helping Wings day for young children will be held on Saturday 7th October at the Jersey Aero Club. This day is for children nominally aged 5 to 12 although we are happy to consider older children if appropriate and if space allows. For logistical reasons, we have to limit the total number of flights to 36. This year, we are delighted to have been offered a flight for 4 youngsters and 2 carers with Isle-Fly. As usual, bookings will be accepted on a first come first serve basis.

We give you the choice of a morning or afternoon flight and will do our best to allocate your choice. Of course, everyone is welcome to stay the whole day but we are aware that, for some of the children, a full day is a lot to cope with.

Each child will get to fly in a light aircraft around the island but there will be lots more on offer ….. the Airport Fire Fighters will again be part of the day as will the police dog handlers. Again this year, we are hoping to have a Helping Wings Christmas tree at St Peter’s Parish church the first week of December and would love all our young guests to do some drawings during the day to decorate the tree. Of course, the day would not be the same without Chicano – our very special magician!

This year, we decided to offer packed lunches. We will need to know ahead how many are joining in. Lunch is free for each HW child as well as one accompanying adult but unfortunately, we will have to charge for anyone else wanting to join in. As the application forms come in, we will, as usual, confirm the booking and send you a lunch form request which will need to be sent back to us as soon as possible.

Apart for the drink/food included with the lunch, any other item must be ordered at the bar (no alcohol please) and paid for at the time. No other charge is made.

All our Helping Wings children will receive a “goodie bag” .

In case of bad weather, our flying schedule may have to change or even be cancelled for that day. Should this be the case, we will make alternative arrangements for the flights BUT the rest of the day will go ahead as planned on October 7th.

Every child must be accompanied throughout the day by a parent, guardian, or carer. Brother and sisters are also welcome to join us and, space permitting, may also fly.

We’ll need an application form completed for every child giving us as much information as possible to ensure that the children can enjoy their day to the full. You can download the application form online by clicking on this link or e-mail us for a copy at hello@helpingwingsjersey.org.

We look forward to seeing you on October 7th.

Eveline and the Helping Wings Team

2017 Helping Wings Flying Scholarship presentation

07 Aug 2017

On Wednesday 2nd August, over 50 people attended the 2017 Helping Wings Flying Scholarship presentation held at the Jersey Aero Club in the presence of our Patron His Excellency Sir Stephen Dalton and Lady Dalton. Myra Shacklady, representing Ports of Jersey, was also with us presenting the awards.

This year, we had 3 scholarships -

For the 5th year, Ports of Jersey, sponsored the scholarship worth £2000 of flying training . This was awarded to Cody Crocker.

The £5000 scholarship sponsored by The Sir James Knott trust for the lower limb disabled was awarded to Jack Brown.

This year, as a one off, and thanks to our 2015 scholarship winner Chakotay Wood, we awarded our third scholarship. Chakotay, who wanted someone else to be able to enjoy the thrill of flying, raised over £2600 by doing a skydive, packing bags at local shops and more. Chakotay suffers from a spinal condition for which he has had many operations…and so, jumping out of an aeroplane would not be the first thing coming to mind!

The winner for the Chakotay Wood and the Islanders of Jersey scholarship is Stephen Cerioli.

Spina Bifida sufferer Charlotte Volante was awarded 5 hours flying training from the Sir James Knott Trust. This fund was made available at the request of our previous patron Sir John McColl who asked for additional funds to be made available as a retirement gesture.

Emma Le Seelleur and Shauna Louis were each giving 5 hours flight training, sponsored by Helping Wings.

Val Gavey and Pierre Brochard from Les Amis, each received one hour flight experience. This was also sponsored by Helping Wings.

We now look forward to receiving photos and blogs telling us all about their experiences.

Happy flying to them all!

Chakotay Wood, the 2015 Helping Wings Flying scholarship winner handed a cheque to Helping Wings

28 Apr 2017

On Friday 28th April, Chakotay Wood, the 2015 Helping Wings Flying scholarship winner handed a cheque to Brian Heath, Helping Wings committee member and Chakotay’s mentor - a cheque for the amazing sum of £2553.92!

The presentation took place at the Jersey Aero Club where Chakotay has been learning to fly. Present were the Lieutenant-Governor, Sir Stephen Dalton, our patron and Lady Dalton who made a surprise visit to congratulate him on his achievement.

Amongst the many guests was Mally Richardson of Jersey Skydive, Chakotay’s instructor for the jump. In Chakotay’s own words, ‘he would have much rather been flying the plane”. As often said amongst pilots…why on earth should anyone jump out of a perfectly good aeroplane!

What is so special about the sum raised if that not only Chakotay did a skydive but he and his Mum spent days fundraising for Helping Wings. 

From the outside, no one would know that Chakotay is disabled. However, he suffers from a rare type of spina bifida and has had problems with his spine from birth…so, it took a lot of courage and determination for him to even think of jumping !

The sum raised is incredible and during his speech last night, Chakotay said that he wanted to thank Helping Wings for having made such a difference to his life and would like the money raised to go towards a flying scholarship in the hope that someone else, on the island, can benefit in the same way.

So, the Helping Wings committee will get together shortly and put forward an application form for the scholarship which will be from Chakotay and the people of Jersey.

On behalf of Helping Wing, I would like to thank Chakotay, his Mum and Dad, his many sponsors and everyone who kindly donated towards Chakotay’s fundraising campaign.

His Excellency Sir Stephen Dalton, Lady Dalton and Chakotay Wood

His Excellency Sir Stephen Dalton, Lady Dalton and Chakotay Wood

Chakotay. H.E. Mally Richardson. Brian Heath

Chakotay. H.E. Mally Richardson. Brian Heath

HW committee members, Mally Richardson, HE & Lady Dalton, Chakotay and his Mum and Dad

HW committee members, Mally Richardson, HE & Lady Dalton, Chakotay and his Mum and Dad

Helping Wings Event for teenagers and young Adults - Saturday 22 April 2017

23 Apr 2017

Another brilliant day yesterday for our first event of the year.

Thanks to our volunteer pilots, 23 young Helping Wings guests together with their parents /siblings and carers - just under 80 people, were treated to a flight around the island in perfect weather conditions!

Whilst on the ground, they had the chance to visit the control tower, have a look around a locally build Sherwood Ranger plane and generally relax over some refreshments at the newly refurbished Jersey Aero Club.

We were delighted to welcome our new Patron - His Excellency Air Chief Marshall Sir Stephen Dalton, Jersey’s new Lieutenant-Governor and Lady Dalton. They were able to spend some time meeting all our voluntered pilots and ground crews as well as many of our Helping Wings guests.

Coincidently, both our 2016 scholarship winners for the Lower Limb Disabled, Melissa Alves and Greg Murray had their first flying lesson. A perfect day for it!

A special thank you to the Lions Club of Jersey who sponsored this events, to Ports of Jersey for their continued support and of course to all our volunteers without whom our events simply could not take place.

H.E. Sir Stephen Dalton

H.E. Sir Stephen Dalton

Maureen, Margaret, Sally and Chakotay - some of our volunteer helpers

Maureen, Margaret, Sally and Chakotay - some of our volunteer helpers

Pilot Vin Cadigan with Michael

Pilot Vin Cadigan with Michael

Ryan and Cristiano with Pilot Sean Morvan

Ryan and Cristiano with Pilot Sean Morvan

Pilot Nick Carter and HW guest Harry

Pilot Nick Carter and HW guest Harry

Our Patron (2017) – His Excellency Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton GCB, LLD (Hon), DSc (Hon), BSc, FRAes, CCMI