For many children affected by limb difference and other challenges it can be difficult to do the things that friends, siblings and peers enjoy, which can have a negative impact on their confidence, social circles and long term happiness.
DBF has always recognised the importance of providing accessible events and opportunities for children with disabilities and has put particular emphasis on enabling their families or carers to share the experience.
In 2010 we formed Bader Braves, inspired by Sir Douglas Bader’s honorary Chieftainship of a Canadian Indian Tribe. This initiative also honoured the courage of children facing life with disabilities and was intended to encourage and inspire them to achieve their own goals. We created the Young Aviators Days, which ran for 12 years and enabled hundreds of children with physical and mental challenges and their families to experience flight in a light aircraft, often for the first time.
We have also organised many Adventure Weekends in partnership with the Calvert Trust and offered numerous different sporting opportunities such as sailing, go-karting and fishing as well as more sedate experiences such as canal boat trips!
When we reached our 40th Anniversary last year, we decided to shift the DBF focus to acknowledge this milestone.
We have decided to maximise the funds we have available by working in collaboration with like-minded charities to continue to encourage sport and physical activity for children, young people and adults with disabilities. Through our Grants Scheme, we will support events held by charities like LimbPower (Junior and Senior Amputee Games); The Arctic One Foundation (Triathlons); Sailability (Adaptive Sailing) and others. We will keep you updated about these and other events and will be happy to put you in touch with the organisations and charities involved.
In the past, our Bader Braves scheme helped children to take part in a range of adventurous activities such as hiking, rock climbing, high ropes and dingy sailing.
Our enormously successful Bader Braves Young Aviators programme which was designed to offer youngsters the opportunity of experiencing flight in a light aircraft has, unfortunately drawn to a close and we will be forever grateful to the participating flying clubs, pilots and young Braves for making them such memorable, exciting and fun events.
However, along with other activities, we are encouraging our friends around the UK to embrace the model and supporting them in the establishment of their own “Spirit of Bader” days to continue the inextricable link between ability challenged youngsters and aviation so please watch our News page and Facebook page page to stay informed.