Joan Simpson

A chance remark- a flying challenge!


It all began at a barbeque party whilst talking to a friend who is a glider pilot. We were discussing gliding when I happened to say. 'How about a gliding experience for the disabled?' In a blink of an eye, out came a mobile 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 very 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 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. Two days before the set date and the weather forecast was not 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 for the day. A quick safety talk and other important information was given to us and then we watched a trial launch.


Gasps of astonishment as the plane rose steeply on the winch and 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 anxiously on. 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 its 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'. Was amongst one of the comments.


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

Latest News

Amazing donation from Higgins!


We were thrilled to receive a huge quantity of wood Higgins Builders Merchants, which was kindly arranged as a donation from Thomas, who works there.


Woodwork is always such a popular activity here at our Centre, and our clients, together with the support of our volunteers, enjoy working together to create useful items.


With such a generous donation, there's no end to the items that can be created and we can't wait to see what comes out of our woodwork room, so a huge thank you to Higgins! 


If there's anything that you may be interested in donating to us here at Headway, please do get in touch as we'd love to hear from you! Please email

Smiles all round at Headway East Northants barbecue!

Yet another terrific day for the Headway East Northants team of clients, carers, staff and volunteers at our summer barbecue! Click here to read all about it.





Services Manager, Jean Tudor, retires from Headway East Northants


Our beloved manager, Jean Tudor, officially retired from Headway East Northants on Tuesday 22nd May and we were all so very sorry to see her go! 

Click the link below to read more!