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Mike's First Flight to the George Ezra Concert

Moorview Care's, Jamie recalls the trip she supported Mike to take last year in this astonishing Case Study which takes us to Belfast.

In this heartwarming adventure filled with excitement and personal growth, Mike embarked on his first-ever flight on an aeroplane to Belfast last summer, to attend a George Ezra concert. As Mike's support, Jamie-Leigh closely guided him through the journey, using easy reads and Makaton communication to ensure Mike's understanding and comfort.

From the outset, Mike displayed a positive spirit, eagerly anticipating our trip. Although he initially felt nervous, reassurance quickly eased his anxiety, and he beamed with smiles, ready to embark on this extraordinary experience together with me, as a team. At Leeds Bradford Airport, Mike followed directions seamlessly, gathering his electronic items and complying with security requirements as his memorable journey of independence started to unfold.

As we made our way to the departure area, Mike happily chose and purchased a milk from Starbucks, delighting in having his name written on the cup! Setting up his iPad at a table, he listened to music whilst awaiting the announcement of our flight gate, maintaining his cheerful demeanour.

"It was an incredible experience to witness these moments with Mike and to be given the opportunity to support him was a honour. It’s more than just a job it’s building memories that will last a lifetime.” - Senior Support Worker, Jamie

When the moment arrived, Mike eagerly viewed the runway, watching planes depart and arrive, soaking in the sights and sounds of the airport with gratitude for the helpful airport crew. Mike's excitement grew as he exclaimed, "Aeroplane now!”. Upon boarding the plane I explained that Mike might have a surprise in store with this being his first flight. One of the flight attendants greeted us and asked if Mike would like to meet the pilot and see how the plane is flown! Mike was delighted and even got to sit in the cockpit - it was such an incredible experience to watch and partake in! As the flight took off, Mike and I laughed and gazed out of the window, captivated by the experience.

Upon landing in Belfast, we went to the hotel to freshen up before our evening plans. Throughout the day, Mike followed directions and engaged really well, earning continuous praise. At the concert venue, Mike's gold circle ticket provided an incredible vantage point right in front of the stage. Thrilled by the proximity to George Ezra, whom he had previously only seen on YouTube, he cherished every moment and I captured as much of the concert, and of Mike so he could look back on the memories and treasure them.

The following day, after enjoying a hearty breakfast at a local bar, we explored St. George's Market, the last standing indoor Victorian market in Belfast. Absorbing the city's sights and architectural marvels. We later visited an outdoor vending market, where Mike tried a homemade raspberry and mascarpone milkshake while speaking to his delighted mother, who received the pictures of his concert experience.

Jamie continues: “Mike should be very proud of himself for achieving these goals. This experience has shown what Mike is capable of. He has been able to adapt to his surroundings and has become more confident and independent when experiencing new things."

Returning to the hotel, Mike indulged in his love for music, appreciating the shade on a sunny day. The evening continued with a visit to Nando's, where Mike exclaimed his enjoyment of the food. A video call with his father followed, during which Mike proudly shared his achievement of flying for the first time. Wrapping up the day at the hotel, Mike relaxed while listening to music.

The next morning, a taxi took us to the Titanic Museum, where Mike marvelled at the exhibits, including a see-through floor reminding him of the ocean's depths. The museum visit provided another extraordinary experience, broadening Mike's horizons.

Boarding the plane for the return journey, Mike maintained his composed and positive demeanour. Back at home, Mike was greeted by the rest of the team and excitedly viewed his bedroom which had been repainted while he was away.


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