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Seriously ill children treated to a day of fun at Popham Airfield
Buy this photo » Popham airfield manager Dick Richardson with volunteers from Harrods, Becky Saunders, Jessica Blakeley and Rebecca Hyland
HAVING fun was the order of the day as hundreds of seriously-ill children made the most of the Starlight Escape Day.
Youngsters with serious and terminal illnesses attended the 17th annual event, travelling from across the country to Popham Airfield to enjoy a multitude of activities including rides on helicopters, hovercrafts, motorbikes and a fire engine.
The event was particularly poignant for airfield manager Dick Richardson, who organises the event with Starlight, as he is set to retire soon.
Dick said: “I will miss it, of course, but I might try to sneak in next year. It’s just a really wonderful event.”
Starlight co-founder and former Dynasty and The Colbys star Emma Samms described the day as “magical”.
She said: “It’s wonderful to look around and to see the smiles on the children’s faces. It’s just fantastic that so many volunteers give up their time and equipment and help us make this such a great day.”
Among the families at the event was the Marke family, from Pendennis Close, Winklebury. As previously reported in The Gazette, Anna Marke, five, has cystic fibrosis – a genetic condition which affects the lungs. She and her mother Rachel, 35, dad Paul, 41 and brother Alex, seven, were at the event for the second time.
Rachel said: “It’s brilliant – it’s something Anna and Alex really look forward to. It’s nice that it’s for the whole family.”
Fifteen-year-old Kieran Fisher, from Whitchurch, who has autism and learning difficulties, said he was really enjoying himself at the day, which he was attending for the first time.
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