Defence Academy staff support Starlight escape day

23 August 2016 / Categories: DA News and Events

Maj Andy Lambert, Shelena Cartwright (Serco) and Barry Bryan (Serco Logistics), all members of the Royal British Legion Riders Association (RBLR), took their trusty steeds (motorcycles) to Popham to support the Starlight Escape event along with nearly 30 other members of the RBLR Wiltshire Branch.

Starlight are a national charity who aim to brighten the lives of seriously and terminally ill children by wish granting and also by providing fun, entertainment, laughter and distraction for children in every children’s hospital ward and hospice throughout the United Kingdom. All Starlight’s activities are aimed at distracting children from the pain, fear and isolation they can often feel as a result of their illnesses.

One such activity is their Starlight Escapes that offer families a break from the stress of a child’s illness. By providing simple, unexpected entertainment such as a night at the theatre or a visit to the zoo, Starlight Escapes bring families together and gives them a much needed rest from the hospital and treatment rooms.

This year Starlight’s 20th annual Popham Escape Day on Popham Airfield gave over 900 seriously and terminally ill children and their families a very special day out.

Children and their families enjoyed an adrenaline-fuelled day of flying in light aircraft, helicopters and hovercraft, being driven round the airfield in sports cars, on motorbikes and trikes and even the chance to drive a double decker bus!

To top the day off, the families and children were treated to a fly past from a Lancaster Bomber from the Royal Air Force Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and an awe-inspiring free fall display from the Red Devils free fall team.

Shelena, riding a 1000 cc Suzuki motorcycle, did almost 35 trips around the airfield carrying children as pillion passengers and said after

“ It was a very long and tiring day, but to see the children who endure so much on a daily basis with a huge smile on their faces was well worth it. What some of the children cope with day in day out is amazing it really does make you appreciate life”.  

Barry said

“ You just cannot imagine what some of these kids go through and to give up a day to make their lives a little more bearable and put a smile on their faces gives you such a great feeling of pride”. 


To find out more about the Starlight Foundation visit their website

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