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A 3-D view of the world for special children

By andreasvendsen on July 21, 2014
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Students from specialist Hamilton North School enjoy their 30-minute flight around Hamilton and a “3D view of the world”.

When Chris Jordan’s beloved sister passed away after battling breast cancer, he was determined to honour her memory.

Carolyn was mother to four children, including two little girls with Down syndrome, Emma and Nicky.

Chris, a pilot, decided to start a charity in his sister’s name to benefit children and young people like his nieces.

That was the beginning of the Child Flight Charitable Trust, and since its inception in 2012 over 130 children with special needs have been given the chance to experience the thrill of a 30 minute flight and take in a “3-D view of the world”.

The Harcourts Foundation, and Harcourts Hamilton business owners Brian King and Davinder Singh, are supporting Child Flight Charitable Trust through the donation of a $2500 grant.

Chris says generous donations from groups like the Harcourts Foundation are what enables him and his team of 14 volunteer pilots to fund the flights.

“The reaction from the children is phenomenal. An example is a profoundly deaf and autistic boy, very uncommunicative and insular, who sat staring at his iPad for the first 15 minutes of the flight. He happened to glance out the window, and from that moment was completely absorbed. Afterwards I was talking to one of his caregivers and he came up from behind to hug me – which was highly unusual behaviour for him. The flight had reached a place in him that was hard to reach.”

Chris says part of what they do at Child Flight is to promote the fact that just because you have special needs doesn’t mean you can’t experience what others do.

“You can do anything,” Chris says.

The Harcourts Foundation to date has raised $2.6 million to help local groups improve the lives of their communities. For more information visit www.harcourtsfoundation.org

This grant to Child Flight Charitable Trust was made possible by the fundraising and donations of the team at Harcourts Hamilton.

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