Tom Close Memorial Scholarship at London Luton Airport

Tom Close Memorial Scholarship

10 teenagers spent a week of their Easter Holidays at London Luton Airport taking part in the fly2help Tom Close Memorial Scholarship.

This memorial scholarship has been set up by Joanne Close as her son, Tom, very sadly lost his life suddenly and unexpectedly in May 2015 whilst he was in Florida finishing his training to gain his commercial pilots licence. A dream he had, had since he was very young.

Tom Close worked at Luton Airport where he was de-icing aircraft in the winter and baggage handling in the summer to fund his flying care

The Tom Close Memorial Scholarship offers an annual aviation programme at Luton Airport, which gives young people an insight into some of the careers within the exciting aviation industry. Signature Flight Support at London Luton hosted fly2help and ten lucky teenagers that were awarded a place on the scholarship after a successful application and interview process. The week was packed with visits to aviation companies at Luton Airport and Cranfield Airport.

The week started with an tour of the Signature facilities and a visit to the Air Traffic Control Tower. Other visits throughout the week included easyjet with a tour of Hangar 8 and a talk from one of their captains on day to day life as an airline pilot. For the students with an interest in the engineering sector, visits to Monarch Aircraft Engineering at Luton and IAE at Cranfield were a great success. Talks at Cranfield Flying School and Azure Flying School gave the students an insight into what steps are required to achieve a flying career. The students also enjoyed the tour of the fire station at Luton where they had a behind the scenes tour and also had a look at the airport’s de icing rig. The week ended on a high with the students presenting to their parents and the team at Signature. It was obvious from the presentation that the students had gained so much knowledge and information from the week. Fly2help were joined by Tom Close’s Mum for the week. Joanne Close was an inspiration to the students and talked about Tom’s passion for the aviation industry and how he would  be thrilled to see his Mum continuing his memory through this Scholarship Scheme.

Fly2help’s Aim High Co-ordinator, Kim Davenport, said: – “Having begun my aviation career at the age of sixteen, I really enjoy these weeks with the students. Their enthusiasm shines through at the interview stage and we are keen to show them the wide range of aviation and aerospace careers available to them in the future. We are so grateful to Joanne for adopting fly2help as her chosen charity and we hope we can do her proud by putting on a great week in memory of Tom”

Joanne Close said “Adopting fly2help as a charity was a natural choice for his family; Tom himself had identified fly2help saying he would like to volunteer as a pilot for the ‘smiley days’ once he had gained his dream of becoming a commercial pilot”.

fly2help is a Gloucestershire based charity that uses the power of flight to raise the spirits of people

young and old, living in difficult personal situations and inspire young people as they consider their future. 01285 770821

Fly2help is a Gloucestershire based charity and has an education wing, called Aim High, offering opportunities for young people who wish to embark on a career in the aerospace and aviation industries. 

For more information on the fly2help Aim High Progammes go to 


The award winner, Peter Alderton with Tom’s Mum, Joanne Close

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