Project Wingman Braintree

Project Wingman is a charity founded in March 2020 in direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic when Professor Robert Bor, Captain Dave Fielding and Captain Emma Henderson came together to explore how grounded aircrew could support NHS staff during the current health crisis.


They put a call out to the airline community with the idea of taking crew into NHS hospitals to look after NHS staff during their breaks in dedicated lounges and thus Project Wingman was born.

An incredible 6,500 airline crew answered their call for volunteers, from across every UK airline. They offer their time, knowledge and skills to serve and support NHS staff, providing vital well-being and mental health support.

CommunityAd caught up with Company Secretary and Airline Pilot, Emma Gauntlett from Braintree, to find out a little bit about this wonderful charity and just how they’ve supported the NHS over the last 18 months.

Made up of a core team of 15 to 20 volunteers running the charity behind the scene, they also boast an impressive legion of volunteers, totalling over 5,000 all ready to take on any challenge in support of the NHS.

Emma explained that a group of pilots and aviation psychologists realised the unique position they were in to support the NHS, with all pilots and cabin crew first aid trained and security checked meaning they could seamlessly join the NHS as volunteers.


How has Project Wingman supported and worked with the NHS since its launch? 

“Our aim is to provide well-being support for those who need it. So, we set up wellness hubs in hospitals and ambulance stations and give NHS staff somewhere to relax, destress and decompress during their working day. We are not a patient or a colleague but someone who they can talk to openly. We have worked in over 100 hospitals, ambulance stations and vaccination hubs across England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, including Broomfield, Harlow, Basildon and Southend hospitals here in Essex.

“We own two blue double decker buses which we have converted into mobile wellness hubs that drive around the UK providing well-being support at hospitals. We are always open to hearing from people who think they could help support us, either with donations or as sponsor of the charity.”


If you work in the aviation industry and would like to get involved, or if you work at a hospital and think your staff would benefit from some support, please visit Project Wingman’s website to register as a volunteer or request their help.

Exclusives by Area