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Experience of a lifetime thanks to RAF College

Charity founder Bob Wilson is pictured at College Hall with Wing Commander Sandy Sandilands. Photo by RAF Cranwell.

Charity founder Bob Wilson is pictured at College Hall with Wing Commander Sandy Sandilands. Photo by RAF Cranwell.

A CHARITY set up by former BBC sports presenter, Arsenal and Scotland goalkeeper, Bob Wilson and his wife Megs has kicked off a new partnership with RAF College Cranwell.

The Willow Foundation, set up in memory of Mr Wilson’s daughter, Anna, who died of cancer aged 31, launched its first special day experience when a group of young adults living with serious and life-threatening illness were taken up for a flight.

The young people and their families joined the Flying Club at RAF College Cranwell to take to the skies or experienced a flight simulator. The guests were also given a guided tour and enjoyed a dinner at York House Officers’ Mess with guest speaker, former RAF pilot, John Peters, who was shot down and taken prisoner in the first Gulf War. The visit was such a success that plans are already in hand to repeat it next year, giving young people, aged 16-40, the chance to identify with others in similar circumstances, rebuild self-confidence and a sense of normality.

Life president, Bob Wilson said: “Everyone at RAF College Cranwell worked so hard to enable Willow to create a truly unforgettable day for these nine young people and their families. It was an incredible experience. It’s one we hope to be able to repeat in future.”

Lydia, who is 18 and is having treatment for a brain tumour, said she had made new friends from the experience she would always remember.

Mathew, 22, has an abdominal tumour and his brother, Mike, explained it was a change to get away from the stress of his daily routine: “This opportunity gave him the rare chance of arranging his chemotherapy around a social event as it was something he did not want to miss.”

 
 
 

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