A big flying thank you
The amazing Flying Eye Hospital touched down at Stansted Airport on, 9th March 2017 for the UK leg of its recent Europe & Middle East tour. Over the course of five days we welcomed over 1,000 supporters, partners and media to tour the aircraft and experience an interactive exhibition that brought our work to life.
The aircraft was in the UK to help raise awareness of eye health and to say thank you to our wonderful supporters. Without your help we simply would not be able to help train and equip eye care teams around the globe.
Our event was a huge success, not only due to our wonderful visitors but also because of the amazing support we received from partners and volunteers.
It would be impossible for us to thank everyone for their support (there were just too many amazing people helping out) but here are a few of those offering their time, facilities and expertise.
A big thank you to….
- FedEx for their donations of ground handling support, security, their MD-11 aircraft, time and expertise.
- Diamond Hangar who were kind enough to host us throughout the event.
- XJet for their ground handling assistance, hosting services and extended venue capabilities.
- Stansted Airport for hosting the plane and providing guest services.
- Just a drop for donating 1,500 bottles of Orbis branded bottles of water.
- On Air Dining for their delicious canapes for our guests and in-flight food which kept our crew going from London to Doha.
- The Holiday Inn Express Stansted for providing wonderful service and discounted rates for our entire workforce.
- The tens of volunteers welcomed daily from Alcon, Standard Chartered and Flightworx.
- In excess of a 1,000 cups donated by various Starbucks coffee shops.
- Virtually Mine for the donation of virtual reality headsets.
- L’Occitane en Provence for their gifts-in-kind.
- Adnams for their kind donation.
Bus4Us for providing daily shuttles for the Flying Eye Hospital crew, medical volunteers and UK team.
We hosted not one but two royals during the course of the week: HRH The Countess of Wessex and Prince Arthur Eze of Nigeria, owner of the Diamond Hangar.
We also received wonderful support from;
- Mary Killen Gogglebox star and former Trustee
- Katie Piper, model, philanthropist and TV presenter,
Cynthia Chisom, Human Rights Lawyer, Model and advocator of children human rights.
Seeing our supporters’ reactions to the plane has been an inspiring and uplifting experience for everyone involved and made all the hard work worthwhile.
We also took the opportunity to host the UK’s first ever Advocacy event – a roundtable lunch where leading eye health experts (including representatives from IAPB, Fred Hollows, Sightsavers and Standard Chartered) came together to discuss how best to integrate eye health into strong and sustainable health systems.
Finally, we used the event as an opportunity to launch our brand new campaign ‘Operation Sight’ which will run through 2017 and 2018. You can find out more about the campaign at www.operationsight.orbis.org.