This year RAFC Cranwell will assist with the final selection element for the Flying Scholarships for Disabled People (FSDP). The scholarships were created in 1983 in memory of Gp Capt Sir Douglas Bader and it gives a once in a lifetime opportunity for disabled people to help realise their abilities through the medium of learning to fly. Since the start of the programme, over 400 people have been awarded scholarships.
This March, 18 candidates participated in a 3-day selection process. The scholars use facilities based at RAF Cranwell and we provided the parking facilities for the visiting aircraft. All the candidates must undertake a rigorous selection process, including informal and formal interviews, aviation medicals, theory tests, and aircraft assessments. The candidates have a range of disabilities, including amputation, paraplegia, MS, cerebral palsy and spina bifida; for most, this would be the first time they had ventured on to a military base.
We feel this opportunity provides individuals with an invaluable life experience, allowing those with a disability to realise their true potential. We look forward to supporting the FSDP in the future and hope we can provide a suitable and welcoming environment.
If you would like to learn more about the FSDP scholarships available, meet the charity or donate, they will be at this year’s Royal International Air Tattoo in July in the Sir Douglas Bader Marquee or visit www.fsdp.co.uk