Christmas wishes granted in Lapland for seriously ill children


East Midlands Airport staff are gearing up to welcome seriously ill children and their families to the airport as they begin their winter wonderland adventure to Lapland on Sunday 9 December thanks to When You Wish Upon a Star.

The magical trip transports excited children from across the UK to Lapland, away from hospitals and appointments and into a magical world filled with Christmas spirit.

For the journey a private flight is chartered at a cost of £90,000 which is raised through kind donations, whisking children and their families to a winter wonderland.

General Manager, Karen Martt, said: “Our Lapland trip is extraordinary, as it gives the ultimate gift of smiles and happiness for children and families who are in most need of it.

“It gives children, who are living with life-threatening illnesses, respite and time out from painful treatments to simply be a child for the day. It also gives parents a break and a chance to see their children smile, creating precious treasured memories which last a lifetime.”

The yuletide trip commences with a magical plane ride, where children and their families sing along to classic Christmas carols such as Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer and Jingle Bells. Upon landing in Lapland they are taken to the Magical Forest, where they are greeted by mischievous elves and woodland creatures who challenge children to snowball fights and sleigh races.

After a busy day of sleigh rides, Siberian huskies, horse and carriage rides and reindeers, the very special group of guests are guided to a hotel, where they will meet Santa Claus and receive a special Christmas gift.

Karen added: “We hope the pictures and memories from the Lapland trip stay with the families and children forever. We are so pleased to be hosting another fantastic journey to Lapland. All of the funds raised by everyday people really do create magic for these children, and we hope the Lapland trip reminds our supporters how much their efforts mean to the charity’s work.”

For each child and their guardian it costs £900 to send them to Lapland, so fundraising helps to make the trip tangible for the life-changing charity. When You Wish Upon a Star (WYWUAS) is already gearing up for another year of fundraising and is encouraging businesses and communities to support its work.

Andy Tyler-Smith, East Midlands Airport’s Customer Services and Security Director, says: "We're delighted to offer a warm welcome to so many children and their families for this very special festive flight to Lapland. Our staff love being involved in this heart-warming occasion which brings the true meaning of Christmas to life."