This year’s Bournemouth Air Festival will always be memorable for a family supported by Diverse Abilities, Dorset’s Disability Charity.
Stevie Champ, who is supported by Diverse Abilities’ Supported Living Service, has always been the Red Arrow’s number one fan. Earlier this year Stevie received a terminal cancer diagnosis and his support team wanted to make sure the time he has left is as special as possible. This is when the idea was born to try and achieve Stevie’s dream of meeting a Red Arrows Pilot.
Following a number of phone calls, emails, questions, and lots of planning, on the second day of the Bournemouth Air Festival, Stevie accompanied by his parents and two members of his support team headed to the Marsham Court Hotel for a day out to remember. Amongst the excitement of the air displays taking place on Bournemouth seafront, Stevie and his parents received a very special meet and greet with not just one Red Arrows pilot, but eleven pilots and officers. An occasion which has only taken place once before when the Red Arrows met Queen Elizabeth II. Stevie was able to meet his heroes, as well as receiving a signed hat and having pictures taken to remember the day by.
Michelle Turner, Supported Living Deputy Manager, commented: “This was a once in a lifetime opportunity for a very special person. It was a very emotional day for everyone involved, and we really want to thank the Red Arrows, the team at the Bournemouth Air Festival, and the Marsham Court Hotel for making this dream a reality.”
Jane Langridge, Business Development Director at the Marsham Court Hotel, added: “We were absolutely delighted to welcome the Red Arrows to the hotel to meet with Stevie and his family. It was an amazing opportunity, and we were very pleased to be part of it.”
Stevie is supported by Diverse Abilities’ Supported Living Team, who provide 24-hour support seven days a week to adults with physical and learning disabilities in their own homes across Dorset. Visit diverseabilities.org.uk to find out more about the charity and the services it provides.