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

London Marathon Information Evening, 11th February

 

We thoroughly enjoyed hosting our annual London Marathon Information Evening on Monday 11th February, and were proud to welcome a record number of runners!

 

The informal evening, held at our Irthlingborough centre, offered the chance for runners to take a look around our centre, meet fellow participants, and of course it was great opportunity for us to meet these amazing people in person! 

 

Guest speaker this year was Andrew Walker, himself an experienced London Marathon runner, and a member of Team HEN 2019. Andrew shared his knowledge and experiences, offering hints/tips about build-up to race day, nutrition, lasting the distance, and of course, recovery.

 

Huge thanks to all who attended!

 

 

 

New Year, New You? Come and be a volunteer!

 

Want to make a positive change for 2019? Then come and be part of our amazing team of volunteers!

 

Whether you have a spare day in the week, or even just an hour or two, visit our centre and meet our fantastic people. We have so much to offer those who've survived brain injury - maybe it could be YOU who helps someone re-learn a lost skill, or take on a new one.

 

For all volunteering enquiries, please call on 01933 652311 or email our deputy manager, Jonny Tudor, on  jonny.tudor@headwayeastnorthants.org.uk