Joan Simpson

A chance remark- a flying challenge!

 

It all began at a barbecue party whilst talking to a friend who is a glider pilot. We were discussing gliding when I just so happened to say. 'How about a gliding experience for the disabled?'

 

In the blink of an eye, out came a mobile phone and a call was made to the airfield. That was when I found myself talking to one of the committee members. The outcome of this conversation was that it was perfectly feasible for ANYONE to fly, whatever their disability (with a few exceptions). It was also then when I learnt that the gliding club were looking to do more to integrate their passion into the community. The next move was to chat to all of the clients at Headway East Northants to see how many would be interested in taking up the challenge!

 

The date was set, weather permitting, and everyone looked forward to their challenge. Just two days before the set date, the weather forecast wasn't good, so it was suggested that we try the day after. That morning was an ideal flying day.

 

The lunches were packed and, with some trepidation, we all set off. At the airfield we were met by the staff and pilots who were to look after us. A quick safety briefing and other important information was given to us and then we watched a trial launch.

 

There were gasps of astonishment as the plane rose steeply on the winch, then, at the right height, it was released. At this point there were a few anxious faces!

 

As the first two clients were helped into their gliders, everyone else looked on anxiously. At this point, I wondered if any of them would dare take the challenge of actually fliying the gliders themselves. We watched take-offs and followed their progress in the clear blue sky, circling in the thermals and eventually coming to land.

 

Their faces said it all. "I never thought Id be able to do something like this". "I actually flew a glider. That was fantastic!" "I want to do it again!" were among many of the comments!

 

It was certainly a high flying challenge, which many thought they would never have the chance to achieve. 

Latest News

Positive Blue Badge changes ahead for those with hidden disabilities

The Blue Badge scheme is currently being reviewed and plans are afoot to extend the Badge to those with less visible disabilities, such as brain injury.

 

The changes are described as the biggest being made in the scheme in almost 50 years and it's hoped that they will offer a lifeline to people with hidden disabilities who suffer from travel difficulties.

 

Changes will come into force on 30th August 2019. 

 

For full details, please visit  https://www.gov.uk/government/news/review-of-blue-badge-fraud-as-scheme-is-extended-to-those-with-hidden-disabilities

 

FREE cinema tickets for companions of ABI survivors!

 

It's great to hear that brain injury survivors may be entitled to free cinema tickets for their companion, if they qualify for a CEA card - a national scheme developed by UK cinemas by the UK Cinema Association (UKCA).

The card entitles the ABI survivor to ONE free ticket for a friend/loved one/carer to join them at the cinema to provide required support. Participating local cinemas include Kettering's Odeon, Corby's Savoy and Northampton's Vue and Cineworld!

To be granted a CEA card, a person needs to be in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Attendance Allowance (AA), Personal Independent Payment (PIP), Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP) or hold Sight Impaired Registration.

You can apply online for your CEA card by visiting  www.ceacard.co.uk - you'll need proof of eligibility, a photo, and payment of £6.

 

 

Fancy a challenge? Why not try the Northampton Half Marathon for HEN?

 

If you want to fulfill a personal challenge but find the idea of the London Marathon a bit too daunting, why not consider running the Northampton Half Marathon for Headway East Northants?

 

The Half Marathon will be held on Sunday 29th September. We've teamed up with 'Go Beyond Sport' who are managing the event - it's free to register and your only commitment is to raise a minimum of £100 for us.

 

For further details, and to register, please visit  http://gobeyondsport.co.uk/Northampton_Half_Marathon_2019_Run_for_Free