With helicopter flights, supercars, Harley Davidsons, pony rides, a Hummer limo and much more, the fourteenth annual Starlight Escape at Popham gave 400 sick children the opportunity to enjoy some much needed time away from their hospital beds with an unforgettable day of excitement with their families.
The event, which was held on Thursday 19 August at Popham Airfield in Hampshire, also provided plenty of entertainment for those not looking for a rush of speed in an aeroplane, helicopter or on a hovercraft. There were many on-the-ground distractions provided by magicians, a petting zoo, rides on some very special motorbikes and cars, together with a spectacular air display.
This Starlight Escape is just one of the ways that the children’s charity helps to brighten the lives of over 500,000 sick children every year. It is organised by Dick Richardson, manager of Popham Airfield, and made possible by an army of volunteers who donate their time, expertise and equipment (not to mention their planes, trains and automobiles). Everyone who helped out went out of their way to make the day as magical as possible for sick children throughout the South.
One mother said: “My family went to the Escape Day at Popham Airfield today. This is our first experience of Starlight and, wow, what a wonderful day, I can’t believe so many people gave their time and machines for us all. I have never seen so many smiling faces in one place. Since his heart surgery, my son Nathaniel is usually shy and won’t go anywhere without one of us but today he went up in a plane on his own with a stranger – I still can’t believe it! Thank you so much – it has done wonders for his self-esteem.”
Starlight Chief Executive Neil Swan said: “This was the fourteenth Escape Day that Starlight has held at Popham and this year’s event has been bigger and better than ever before, with over 400 very poorly children and their families enjoying the many distractions on offer. The summer holidays can be a particularly gloomy time for children who are unwell and undergoing treatment and the Escape Day is a chance for them to forget their illnesses and have fun with their families.
“We are enormously grateful to all those who gave their time to ensure that the day was a resounding success and the sight of so many happy, smiling children is testament to their efforts. I would particularly like to thank Dick Richardson and all the volunteers at Popham Airfield for their continued commitment to this extraordinary event.”
Watch coverage of the day ITV’s Meridian Tonight.
Starlight also grants once-in-a-lifetime wishes to children fighting serious and terminal illnesses.
Contact: Henny Breakwell
Tel: 020 7262 2881 #231
Starlight grants a once-in-a-lifetime wish for seriously and terminally ill children, restoring the magic and fun of childhood and giving the whole family happy memories to share, whatever the future holds.
Starlight also creates entertainment in every hospital and hospice throughout the UK. Sick children go to Starlight parties, laugh their way through pantomimes, go out on Starlight Escapes, play games and watch films on the Starlight Fun Centre, and enjoy the toys and puzzles of the Starlight Distraction Box. Happy children respond better to treatment and Starlight helps children to forget about their illness and simply have a bit of fun.
You can make a donation online or by calling us on 020 7262 2881. For every £1 you donate, Starlight can assure you that 88p goes towards helping very ill children. To refer a child for a wish, simply complete our wish referral form.