Halton Carers Centre -Young Carers Flying Trip
Halton Carers Centre’s Young Carers were given a fantastic opportunity through the Rotary E-Club of Aviation recently to visit Liverpool Airport and have a flight with pilot Tony Erskine. This is the third year we have worked with Tony and Ann.
In order to identify six young carers we ran a competition to design a Young Carers’ Logo and slogan to be printed on T shirts. Our competition was supported by Primary and High Schools across Halton. We had lots of entries, all of which were incredibly good which made picking the winner very difficult! The judges were impartial and did not know any of the Young Carers’ situations.
The overall winner who’s slogan and logo (below) was ‘Life
is a struggle but we can juggle’ which we though was very appropriate. This
will be used on T-Shirts and other promotional materials.
Two of our Young Carers care for 2 people within their family, a parent and their sibling. One young carer is a Primary Young Carer for Mum (no other sibling or parent is around to support). One Young carer supports mum who is wheelchair bound. And two young carers who support their siblings with Autism/ADHD. These young carers don’t have the opportunity that other children get due to their caring role at home so this flying trip not only gives them a break for the day it also gives them a fantastic opportunity to create a memory of a lifetime.
The airport event took place on May 19th and our 6 young carers were able to see all aspects of how an airport runs. 2 young carers had never been in an airport before, let alone on a plane! We arrived early to watch the planes landing and taking off, which was very exciting for the young carers, as they were so close.
We then moved on to the Hangers to look at a variety of planes and were able to ask lots of questions about them. One Young Carer took photos to show her history teacher. The air traffic control tour was very interesting with the Young Carers spotting the planes coming in to land.
As we prepared for our flight over Merseyside some Young Carers (and staff!) were a little anxious about the flight to begin with but that soon disappeared one we were in the plane. The Young Carers at the front of the plane were thrilled to have the chance to control the plane but this was a little nerve wracking for the staff! One of our Young Carers hadn’t flown before was initially very nervous. He asked pilot Tony lots of questions, including asking him to barrel role the plane!
Our slogan winner sat at the front of the plane with Tony and absolutely loved the flight. She repeatedly said that “this was the best day of her life”, which was absolutely lovely to hear. She took hundreds of photos and was very interested in the whole experience. All of our Young Carers were full of questions, excitement and all took lots of photos to show their mums, dads and siblings, who were very jealous of this experience
The car journey home was very noisy with all six Young Carers chatting enthusiastically about their experiences all the way home. However, some did fall asleep with sheer excitement from the day!
One of our staff members -Lucia who has had a fear of flying for many years finally conquered her fear thanks to Tony putting her at ease. She has since booked a flight to Dublin. So thank you from Lucia and her husband who now doesn’t have to experience coach holidays!
All of the feedback we’ve had from young carers and their families following the flight experience have been brilliant! Mum of a 6 year old Young Carers said that “her daughter felt very special to have been chosen. She had an amazing day and came back full of excitement and stories of being able to see out of the window and flying over houses.”
Another 9 year old Young Carer said “the day was epic and I had the best day ever. It was an experience I will never forget”
We would like to say a very big THANK YOU to Rotary e-club of Aviation, especially Tony and Ann and the who were excellent host for the day and for organising a FANTASTIC opportunity for six Young carers and staff who appreciated this amazing experience.
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