An award winning children’s charity made magic a destination.
Neston saw Northern Lights’ 30th anniversary trip taking sick children to Lapland off in style with the rhythmic beats of samba-reggae drumming group Batala Mersey creating a Brazilian style celebration and send off.
With the drummers dressed in festive costumes the scene was set for the children’s very special trip to see Father Christmas.
Excited parents and children loved the vibrant atmosphere and during Batala’s finale the coach departed with emotional parents waving their children off.
Organisers explain this year’s trip was in jeopardy after the problems at Monarch but Neston based Perfect Getaways saved the day by finding a new holiday for Northern Lights via Doncaster airport.
After a night in Doncaster the party of 20 children, three nurses, one doctor and eight volunteers were soon boarding their plane and landing in a very snowy and cold Lapland before they knew it.
Once kitted out in cold weather gear the party arrived at their base and 20 very tired but excited youngsters managed to fit in an hour’s tobogganing before bed.
The first full day in Lapland was spent meeting the huskies. After a coach ride to a frozen lake the children took it in turns to be pulled around by a team of 12 dogs, an experience of exhilarating fun like no other as the snowy landscape sped past.
Back at the hotel the children wrote their letters to Santa and spent the afternoon with more tobogganing.
Sunday was all about a Santa hunt and the youngsters boarded their coach again and were off to find the Great Man, arriving at another magical place with a log cabin lit up in the distance.
Greeted by guides for the day and hurried into sledges pulled by snow mobiles the group were soon disappearing into a forest of snow covered trees.
A short while later reindeers were seen through the trees and the children quickly realised they were moving onto a reindeer sleigh to continue their adventure through the forest.
After a short stop for a play in snow so deep it nearly covered the children, twinkling lights were seen through the trees and an elf came running down a pathway to tell the children they’d found Santa’s home.
Invited into the beautiful log cabin the children found Santa surrounded by his elves and bags of presents.
The elves knew exactly what each child wanted for Christmas and after being given a very special present from Santa and photos taken to treasure for a long time to come, they departed on reindeer sleighs.
Chairman Karen Jones said: “After thinking that this was a trip that might not have happened when the Monarch holiday was lost the charity gives huge thanks to the staff of Perfect Getaways for helping them book this trip of a lifetime for the 20 children.
“A great bunch of children, whose behaviour was exemplary, go home with memories to keep forever and renewed vigour for life that helps so much in their fight against dreadful illnesses.
“Many thanks to everyone who has supported Northern Lights, especially in this their 30th anniversary year.
“A huge thank you also goes to the nurses and doctor who accompanied them this year as well as the volunteers who travelled with the children.”