About Bader Braves

DB Morning Bird
Sir Douglas Bader being honoured as “Chief Morning Bird” by the Kainai Indians

Launched on the 10th February 2010, at R.A.F. Museum, Hendon, BADER BRAVES was created as a joint acknowledgement of Sir Douglas Bader’s honourary Chieftainship of a Canadian Indian Tribe and the bravery of children with limb deficiencies and other disabilities in their efforts to lead normal lives.

It is a tremendous honour, limited to just 40 living people, to be awarded a Chieftainship and one of which Sir Douglas was extremely and justifiably proud.

(From: “This Week in Canadian History” (Oct. 3 – Oct 9, 1818 – 1998): ‘Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII) was honoured with the name “Red Crow” when he became the first Kainai Chief at a ceremony in Lethbridge, Alberta. The Kainai (Blood Indians) of southern Alberta created the honorary chieftainship to recognise individuals who have contributed either to the Blood people or to humanity in general. Membership is limited to 40 living persons and the honour is highly prized. Among those who have been members are Douglas Bader (Morning Bird), Pierre Berton (Big Plume), and Pope John Paul II (Big Holy White Father).’

BADER BRAVES supports children with limb loss and other physical disabilities by offering unique experiences and improving life-skills to increase confidence. The Douglas Bader Foundation has always acknowledged the importance of the Braves’ families and carers and, in supporting the children, also aims to benefit those people involved in their lives.

We know that BADER BRAVES, combining, as it does, Sir Douglas’s respect for the Native Canadian Indians, his delight in his Honourary Chieftainship and his love of children, would be a venture particularly close to his heart.

In a nutshell:

BADER BRAVES – The Tribe. Bader Braves supports children with limb loss and other physical disabilities by offering unique experiences and improving life-skills to increase confidence. An important aspect of the BRAVES concept was the ‘tribe’ element. Children with disabilities can feel isolated, lonely and different and they can gain hugely in confidence by finding that they are not alone. This can be an equally positive experience for their parents and carers as is borne out by feedback from our Calvert Trust residential weekends particularly. We envisage the potential for a ‘circle of support’ where Braves might hold or take part in fund-raising or other events to benefit each other, reinforce contacts and strengthen bonds within the tribe.

BADER BRAVES – Young Aviators Days. A big part of Bader Braves is the Young Aviators Days which provide youngsters from 6-16 with limb deficiency and other disabilities with the opportunity of experiencing flight in a light aircraft.  This incredibly popular and successful venture is celebrating its 10th Anniversary this year! We continue to enlist the support of new airfields in different parts of the country so that we can offer this unique opportunity to more youngsters. You can find information about the Young Aviators Days by clicking on the link.

BADER BRAVES – Adventures and Challenges. As well as our Young Aviators Days, we organise diverse adventures and challenges for our Braves such as Adventure Weekends with the Calvert Trust at their wonderful venues in Exeter and Kielder, as well as Sailing, Go-Karting, Fishing and Canal Boat Trips. We are always looking to add new adventures and welcome suggestions. We would be delighted to receive your input. Please keep checking the Events Page for updates and information. Most activities can easily be applied for via our online forms.

N.B.: PROTECTION POLICIES. It has become necessary to have legally ratified policies in place to protect children and vulnerable adults. These can be found on our Policies Page by following the link. If you are thinking of taking part in any Bader Braves event,  you should read them through as before making an application you will be asked to acknowledge that you are aware of them and are familiar with and accept the content. 

If you would like to learn more about BADER BRAVES and/or how you can get involved please contact:

David Bickers (Chief Executive Officer)
The Douglas Bader Foundation Administration Office, 14 Raynham Road, London,W6 0HY
Tel.: 020 8748 8884
Mob.: 07836 552536
Email: david.bickers@douglasbaderfoundation.com

We look forward to hearing from you!

Donate to The Bader Braves

As always, the DOUGLAS BADER FOUNDATION relies almost entirely on fund-raising to survive and to continue to assist amputees and other disabled and we would be delighted to hear from anyone with ideas, fund-raising or otherwise, to support this venture.

You can help to be a part of improving the lives of these brave kids by giving a donation, using the link below:


To support the Douglas Bader Foundation and in particular the BADER BRAVES initiative, giving children with limb loss and other disabilities their first experience of flight in a light aircraft and the BADER BRAVES Adventure week-ends, fills me with immense pleasure and delight. Giving children this opportunity provides self-belief, self-confidence, excitement and sews a seed of what they can do; I hope that those introduced to the Foundation will support this initiative and the aeronautical industry and pilots throughout the country will continue to be involved and assist to give more children this wonderful opportunity. DBF Ambassador, PHIL PACKER , MBE