In the run-up to Children in Need on Friday November 18, The Drop has spoken to a number of charities who have been able to change people’s lives thanks to the funding they have received. 

Last year, Children in Need (CiN) raised a grand total of £51m. 

The money raised helps charities and organisations up and down the country support disadvantaged children.

For Surrey-based charity Aerobility, that’s meant showing young people with disabilities the wonder of flying – in an aeroplane of course.

A child with one of the Aerobility aircraft.


Since 1993, Aerobility has been providing disabled people of all ages with the opportunity to experience the magic and wonder of flight.

A spokesperson for Aerobility told The Drop: “We see applications from those with learning difficulties such as ADHD, ASD or asperges. 

“We can and have also accepted applications from those with a range of physical disabilities such as cerebral palsy and visual impairments.”

They encourage their flyers to ask themselves the question: “If I can fly an aeroplane, what else can I do?” and aim to help make everything else in life feel a little more achievable for them.

Aerobility wants children to have a space where they can escape from the restrictions of disability, whilst representing the need for there to be more disabled people working in the aviation industry.

Two children visiting the control room at Aerobility.

Why did Aerobility apply for the grant?

CiN has been supporting Aerobility’s aviation programme since 2013. 

In 2017, CiN started funding their Junior Aspiring Pilots Programme (JAPP), which aims to promote soft skills such as teamwork and organisation for 12 – 18 year-olds with disabilities. 

This is achieved by providing students with an introduction on what it takes to be a private pilot through a selection of ground and airborne activities.

Aerobility’s spokesperson said: “The JAPP leaves the young people feeling more confident, able to communicate more effectively and more organised.

“They then find it easier to make friends, and do better at school or when transitioning into further education or work.”

How and who has the money helped?

Nine young people per year are able to take part in three flying lessons thanks to the money donated by CiN.

Aerobility pilot.

Aerobility’s spokesperson said: “CiN is a great opportunity for the whole of the UK to come together to support young people from all walks of life. 

“The projects CiN run have a lasting and positive impact on young people.

“In these increasingly difficult times it’s important that the innovators and leaders of tomorrow feel supported today.”

Click to read about how CiN has helped charities Dorset Mind, and Winston’s Wish.

You can find out everything you need to know about Children in Need here.