From Friday 14th – Sunday 17th October, Sgt Hannah Eden spent the weekend at RAF Halton with the National Marching Band of the ACO performing for the Dreamflight charity. Dreamflight is a UK charity that changes young lives through taking children with a serious illness or disability without their parents on the holiday of a life time to Orlando, Florida.
Band with Myleene Klass.
Saturday morning consisted of full band rehearsals and some new music, before travelling to the Hilton Hotel at Heathrow Terminal 5, where the tremendous atmosphere began. Following on from TV stars Dick & Dom, the band performed at the 2016 welcome party for all of the children, nurses, doctors and escorts, and the Dreamflight children all had the opportunity to try playing the drums and cymbals, and even conducting the band. After their performance the cadets and staff were all invited back upstairs to join the disco, where they interacted with the children, whilst dancing, singing and starting a conga around the room.
Cadets with Dreamflight’s Pat Pearce MBE.
After a late night and an early start, the buzzing atmosphere still continued into Sunday, where the band greeted the Dreamflight team again as they arrived at a British Airways hangar at Heathrow Airport. The band then performed for each team as they boarded the plane, whilst dancing, singing and bidding a farewell to the Dreamflight team as they all departed. The band also got to meet celebrity guest, Myleene Klass, as well as some GB Paralympic athletes, Star Wars characters, Despicable Me ‘Minions’ and a Harry Potter look alike.
As well as this, the band met the co-founder of Dreamflight, Pat Pearce MBE. She thanked them for their hard work and commitment to helping the charity over the last 3 years they have been attending the event. Pat Pearce set up the Dreamflight charity 30 years ago when she was a member of staff at British Airways, and it was meant to be a one off trip, however it has actually thrived ever since. Each year, the charity charters a Boeing 747, and takes 192 deserving young children from around the UK abroad for 10 days, to indulge in all of the theme parks and activities Florida has to offer.
Dreamflight departs for Florida.
Sgt Hannah Eden said “This weekend was not about the band or the Air Cadets, it was in fact about the inspiring Dreamflight children. I can easily say performing at this event was one of the best things I have ever experienced. The work the charity does is astonishing, and I am extremely proud to have been a part of it. I wish all of the deserving children on the trip the best holiday imaginable.”
For more information about 422 (Corby) Squadron, you can call the Squadron on 01536 601615 or visit their website at www.422corbyatc.co.uk/how-to-join.aspx.