VIP Donna flies in for very special 21st birthday at Barking School

A girl with Down’s syndrome arrived for her 21st birthday party like a millionaire, touching down in her own helicopter on Saturday.

Donna Cramer thought she was going for a curry but instead enjoyed her first ever chopper ride from Stapleford Abbotts airfield in Essex to Eastbury School in Hulse Avenue, Barking.

Around 100 people rushed to meet Donna when she landed on the playing field, joining her for a party afterwards with a DJ set by a friend with Down’s syndrome and the Barking Abbey School indie band Empty Headz.

Donna’s aunt Valerie, 51, said: “We gave her the front seat. She could see the crowd. She was just overwhelmed. When the helicopter landed, she ran. Everyone was crying. It was very emotional but everybody loved every minute of it.”

Donna, a former student at Trinity special school in Dagenham, won a Jack Petchey award in 2004 for rescuing a young boy who had got into difficulty in a swimming pool during a Cyprus holiday.

Her mum, formerly of Salisbury Avenue, Barking, said: “It was absolutely fantastic. There were lots of special needs children. The helicopter made their day.”