About Us

Abling is a Community Interest Company registered in the UK. It has been set up with donations by the founder and Martin's Charitable Trust. There is no charge for using the site - the ethos is to enable people to share their time and help others smile, for free.

Our Vision

To inspire genuine smiles on the faces of those that need it most and those that can enable it to happen, across the world.

OUR
STORY

The idea for Abling came about in June 2012 when Richard took a seriously ill friend for a flight in a light aircraft.

I had recently obtained my private pilots licence and I was asked to take a friend for a flight. He was due to have a double kidney transplant the following week. The operation had serious risks and little more than 10% chance of success. He wanted to tick off his bucket list before the operation and top of the list was flying in a light aircraft.

When Chris and his wife arrived at Fairoaks airport, he clearly looked unwell. We greeted each other and there was a tear in his eye as the realisation started to set in that he was going to be able to realise his dream. I briefed him that we would be heading down to the Isle of Wight, going along the coast and returning back to Fairoaks about an hour later. He was keen to be involved in everything from pre-flight checks to knowing what everything did!

During the flight I handed Chris the controls for much of the trip, teaching him along the way. The smile on his face during and after the flight was infectious, mesmerising and inspirational. We got back on the ground and there were tears all around and big hugs - it was a massively emotional and uplifting moment for all of us. It also gave a critically ill person a big slice of fun to fuel the fight that was needed at a crucial time. The amazing thing is, Chris survived the operation and went on to get his own pilots licence. He even took me for a flight in 2018 to say thank you!

I realised then, that donating less than an hour of my time to fill an empty passenger seat could make a meaningful impact on both of us. Whether it’s taking a passenger for a ride in a luxurious car, horse riding, sailing, walking, flying or simply taking the time to visit someone in need - there is always something that can make a big difference.

Everyone has the gift of time and many have access to skills and fun activities that could change or improve the health, state of mind and wellbeing of people in need. I realised I needed to create a platform to enable this type of sharing and empowerment for everyone… Abling was born!

I have so much gratitude to Rich for that day. It has made such an impact on my life.

- Chris

Back in 2012 I was diagnosed with renal failure (90% scaring on both kidneys). At the time I couldn’t see my future or what was going to happen to me. I met Rich through my brother in law who helped organise my very first flight in a light aircraft as a surprise. Aviation has been my passion since the age of 6 and it was on my bucket list.

It was to be the turning point of my mindset and my fight against the disease. The flight was magnificent – flying over the British coast on a sunny Sunday morning. They were images that stayed with me during the darkest days of my long treatment in hospital. The confines of the hospital ward were quickly eradicated when I closed my eyes and took myself back to that day and the limitless sky.

I looked over at Rich during the flight and was in awe. Once back on the ground I made a commitment to myself that I WILL get better and I WILL be a pilot. Needless to say 6 months after my transplant I started flight training and I am now a qualified pilot of 200+ logged hours to my name.

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