Home Charity The sky is the limit for three Berkshire care home residents

The sky is the limit for three Berkshire care home residents

by Peter Wells
Les Langley about to take off

Three residents in a wheelchair at RMBI Care Co. Home Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh Court, in Sindlesham (Wokingham), travelled this morning to Blackbushe Airport, in Surrey, for an experience they will never forget. Accompanied by Sharon Fletcher, one of the Home’s Activities Coordinators, each one enjoyed a life-changing 30 minute flight. Residents Tony Newman (80), Les Langley (84) and Bryan Adams (87), who are in a wheelchair, explored the local area from the skies, marvelling at the views of Surrey’s rolling hills and majestic woodlands.

Asked about why they wanted to embark on this adventure, Les Langley says: “I like to try different things. However, I never thought that at this stage of my life, being 84 and with just one leg, I would be able to experience this.” He then adds: “But, even though I have a disability, that will never hold me back!”

Les Langley (84) gives a thumbs up from the cockpit

Tony Newman remarks: “I just wanted to show my wife and my daughters that I am still an action man. Age will not stop me!”

Tony Newman (80) smiles in anticipation of his flight around Surrey.

Bryan Adams says: “Many years ago, I went up in a light aircraft flown by a colleague, who still visits me from time to time. I can’t wait to tell him about this.” He also adds poetically: “I also wanted to see the world from a different perspective.”

Resident Bryan Adams (87) poses next to Carer Leroy Francis (left), pilot Steve Bradd and Home Manager Abigail Cranston.

Sharon Fletcher, determined to support the residents’ wellbeing at Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh Court, came up with this thrilling idea when she was walking with her grandson around the area where Blackbushe Airport is located. “My grandson is fascinated by aeroplanes, so we watched the planes taking off and landing. It then popped into my mind immediately, ‘What a fantastic experience a flight would be for the residents!’”

The Activities Coordinator discussed the idea with the residents, who virtually jumped at the chance. Sharon then applied for three flight scholarships at the local airfield and, miraculously, she was awarded all three. Aerobility, the organisation that grants flight scholarships, is always inundated with applications from people who have a disability, so the residents were naturally astonished when they received the good news. 

“I am so delighted the residents had a fun day. I am extremely proud of them all, having the courage and determination to try something new, no matter the age or disability. They are true gents,” Sharon Fletcher says with a smile.  

Abigail Cranston, the Home Manager at Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh Court, adds: “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for our residents who are taking part. We are all absolutely thrilled to be experiencing this, and are very grateful to Aerobility for organising this event. Up, up and away!”

Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh Court

RMBI Home Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh Court, in Berkshire, is run by RMBI Care Co., part of the Masonic Charitable Foundation. The Home is currently able to safely welcome new residents. For more information, please visit: http://www.rmbi.org.uk/

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