A local Santa flight brought a little festive cheer for 21 children from the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital on Tuesday (06/12/11).
The children, currently receiving treatment for cancer, in the hospital’s Bramble Ward joined the specially chartered Flybe sponsored flight with Santa and key players from Exeter City Football Club’s First Team squad on a 40 minute flight with plenty of excitement.
Exeter Airport’s managing director Matt Roach who was invited to join the flight over and around Exeter and the local coastline said: “It was a pleasure for the airport to work with Flybe on their project to give very deserving local children a memorable Christmas experience.”
The flight, on the airline’s new Embraer 175 aircraft, was joined by Jim French, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Flybe who experience the aircraft for the first time and hosted the in-flight event.
Exeter City Football Club’s Director of Football, Steve Perryman also joined in the fun and the children were able to meet players from the club.
The youngsters were welcomed at the airport by the football club’s popular mascot, Grecian the Lion and Exeter’s ‘Build a Bear’ mascot together with players James Dunne, Scott Golbourne, Troy Archibald Henville, Richard Logan, Daniel Nardiello, David Noble, Jake Taylor and Steve Tully.
CLIC Sargent Social Worker from the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, Heather Rake, said: “These children have to endure prolonged and harsh treatment, which disrupts the whole of their family life. To be able to give them a treat like this flight is fantastic and helps not just the children and families, but also the staff caring for them, by giving them something positive to focus on.”