Hi, My name is Patricia Pearce, I am the Founder of the Dreamflight charity and I live in Ballinger and have done for the past 20 years.
I founded Dreamflight some 28 years ago. The idea came after having too much wine one night and people were phoning me up the next day so I felt I had to ahead with it. The plan was to do one trip. Well, I have just completed Trip number 28.
Our aim is to provide a Holiday of a Lifetime for children with a serious illness or disability.
By providing this type of holiday it boosts their belief that, even if disabled, they are able to enjoy life to the full. No-one is the odd one out. I have now taken over 5,200 children on their dream holiday to Orlando in Florida for ten days. We do not take any parents but a huge team of volunteer doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and other non medical helpers.
So many of the children come back feeling so much more confident and not ashamed of their disability. In 2012, 7 paralympians who all won medals are my former Dreamflight children and I am so proud of them. Several are doing extremely well as budding young golfers, with one hoping to turn pro next year. One child came back as a doctor.
My professional career was as a cabin crew member with British Airways who I worked for for 42 years until my retirement. I have written a book entitled “My Dream Flights” and is about my flying career, including flying with the Queen and the second part is the history of the charity. I am now quite busy giving lectures about my book and will be doing another one on board the Queen Elizabeth next Spring.
Hope to meet up with you in the village but should you want any more information please feel free to email me at Patpearcembe@btinternet.com.