A group of four Air Cadets from 2496 Cumbernauld Squadron attended the Royal International Air Tattoo at Royal Air Force Fairford, Gloucestershire, to assist the charity organisation “Flying Scholarships for Disabled People” .
The cadets had to set up a presentation and awards ceremony enclosure and large marquee for disabled scholars, their families and other high profile dignitaries. The scholars from all over the United Kingdom have been awarded a flying scholarship after rigorous selection processes at RAF Cranwell.
“This was indeed an honour for the squadron as this is the 30th anniversary of Flying Scholarships for the Disabled following its set-up by Group Captain and Second World War ace Sir Douglas Bader,” said Flight Lieutenant Stevie Cairns.
The cadets also mounted a guard of honour for His Royal Highness Prince Faisal bin Al-Hussein of Jordan and Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshall Sir Stephen Dalton.
Cadet Sergeant Curtis Blue (18) said: “I could not believe I was actually presenting framed certificates to HRH Prince Faisal of Jordan for him to hand these to the scholars who were amazing for what they have achieved.”
Flying Officer Pauline Gallagher (37) who has a disability has been a scholar on the scheme and she travelled to South Africa for her six weeks training where she was sponsored by the Red Arrows Charity.
She said: “Flying Scholarships for Disabled People helps promote confidence and make others feel they can achieve their ultimate potential.
“It also demonstrates that anyone can have the opportunity to learn to fly as disability has no barriers in the air.”
Flight Lieutenant Cairns said: “The staff of 2496 are proud of Pauline as she does a lot of good work for the charity and is a valued team member at the squadron”.
Pauline is setting up a charity event called Freedom of Flight to raise £200,000 where she will participate in flying to every county in the United Kingdom for Flying Scholarships for Disabled People to allow them to experience the freedom flying can offer. She is asking people and commercial organisations for sponsorship and would be grateful if anyone could contribute to a worthwhile cause.
If any companies or individuals are willing to contribute or sponsor Pauline, please contact the squadron on 01236 451070 on Monday and Thursday evenings.