Aircraft-loving Peter Roberts had the adventure of a lifetime flying over the north Essex countryside.
Halstead-based Peter, 63, has a learning disability and has been supported by TLC Care and Support for more than 20 years.
His father served with the RAF and Peter has shared his love of planes for many years, taking trips to Stansted Airport and Duxford Airfield to see a wide range of aircraft as well as building model planes.
This inspired his support staff to arrange a flight in a four-seater light aircraft from Earls Colne airfield, where Peter sat in the front with the pilot and was able to temporarily take the controls. To add to the experience, the plane circled over Peter’s residential home where staff and residents waved to him from the garden.
Peter said: “I was excited, I enjoyed holding the steering column and looking at the dials and clocks. I got a certificate for successfully taking the controls. Next year my helpers are hoping to take me on a flight to Edinburgh for the weekend.”
Mandy O’Halloran, Area Manager Mid-Essex, for TLC Care and Support, said: “This is a priceless achievement. We look at individuals’ abilities rather than disabilities and this is an inspiring example of what can be achieved.
“With the right support, and careful risk assessment, anything is possible and I’m incredibly proud of Peter’s carers for supporting his interest in flying and arranging this incredible adventure. I’ve never seen such a beam on Peter’s face, this is a memory that will last a lifetime and his parents are delighted for him too.”
TLC Care and Support provides residential care and supported living services to people aged over 16 who have a learning disability, an autistic spectrum disorder with associated complex challenging needs, or a mental health diagnosis.