Cambridge charity Please Take Me There aims to transport sick children around the UK
The project hopes to raise money for Fly Through Cancer, a campaign to purchase a small plane which could be used in the UK and internationally.
The plane will be based at Cambridge Airport and will fly in the UK for nine months of the year using volunteer pilots. It will be specially equipped and will take parents and their children to consultations and treatments as well as on important trips, including recreational.
Charity founder Fernando Pinho said: “Transport is a hidden challenge facing sick children and their families all over the world. We all take our journeys for granted, but getting from A to B takes on a whole new significance when that journey could save a life, or bring a moment of happiness to a sick child.”
He continued: “Since we started in 2015, we have facilitated more than 2,000 life-changing journeys in Burma and in Ghana. Our new programme Fly Through Cancer will also enable us to address the great need in the UK for free, fast, easy and safe travel for children with cancer.
“Thousands of causes around the world need support. We chose to look at transport because it is an issue that has a big impact on people’s lives and can also be relatively easily solved, with the right resources.
“In the UK, we will work with cancer charities, hospitals and hospices to help children for whom the right transport could make impossible journeys easy and even enjoyable.”
The campaign launched on Tuesday, November 28, and will not only help the charity with its ambitions for the UK, but will also support its work in Burma and Ghana. Cambridge Aero Club and Cambridge Airport are already supporting the scheme.
Terry Holloway, managing director of the Cambridge Aero Club, said: “This is a very worthwhile and exciting project, and the Cambridge Aero Club is delighted to have an association with Please Take Me There.
“We look forward to helping with the selection and management of the pilots and will be honoured to manage this special aeroplane from the Marshall’s Cambridge International Airport.”
Flights in the UK will be from and to smaller airports, close to where the families live. The plane will also be available for free recreational flights, allowing children and families to create valuable memories together.
During the winter months, and once a year, the plane would be used in developing countries and help transport children from remote areas to hospitals for treatment. Please Take Me There will also fly medical teams to remote areas to help diagnose patients and provide training to doctors and nurses.
Donors to the scheme will have the chance to see how their money is helping families, and have their name painted on the plane.