Cramlington care home residents take to the skies

Care home residents were flying high thanks to a day trip with a difference.

Thursday, 13th June 2019, 12:43 pm
Updated Friday, 21st June 2019, 3:51 pm
Residents from Cramlington House on a visit to Flight Sim Centre near Newcastle.

Residents at Cramlington House, a residential and dementia care home owned by Craig Healthcare, took the controls of a Boeing 737, a Spitfire and F35 Combat Fighter at Brunswick-based Flight Sim Centre.

Three residents took part, who each have a special connection with flying.

Bob Burns, 87, served in the RAF as ground crew and always wanted to fly; Ian Kingsland, 83, served in the Parachute Regiment Reserves and his dream was to fly a plane as he always jumped out of them; and Jimmy Oliver, 88, thought it would be a once in a lifetime experience.

A resident from Cramlington House gets behind the controls of a Boeing 737 at Flight Sim Centre.

Kim Stubbs, wellbeing champion at Cramlington House, said: “We organised the flight simulator experience because of the benefits we knew it would provide to Bob, Ian and Jimmy. It was wonderful to see the sheer awe on their faces when flying and how happy, content and relaxed they were.

“People have misperceptions about care homes and don’t understand just how much the specialised activities we organise improve their quality of life and overall wellbeing.”

As part of the experience, the men were able to take off, land and tour the UK and USA.

The next day Bob said: “I’ve just come back down to earth – it was absolutely fantastic.”

Jimmy added: “It felt marvellous. It was an unusual, but wonderful thing to do.

“I feel like I could fly a real plane and keep telling others that I could definitely take them to Tenerife or their next holiday.”