192 disabled and seriously ill children from all across the UK have been given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to enjoy a free Dreamflight trip to Florida.
The children had been nominated for the trip by social workers, healthcare teams and doctors across the UK. The children – some of whom require round-the-clock care – visited the likes of SeaWorld, Universal Studios, and Disney World.
As the grand finale of the life changing trip, the children were given the chance to swim with dolphins at Discovery Cove. For many, this meant being lifted from their wheelchairs into the water, where staff and carers helped them to interact with the dolphins.
I was nominated by my asthma nurse and I’m just so happy to be here.
Mya Logan, 11, from Edinburgh said:
“I was nominated by my asthma nurse and I’m just so happy to be here. It’s been fantabulous – fandabbydozy. I feel much more brave since coming out here and it’s only been a week. A week ago I would not have done certain things, I’d have been a bit petrified. But, I’ve just swam with dolphins. It’s been brilliant.”
And Stephen Gallacher, 14, from Musselburgh, near Edinburgh said:
“Me and my mum were at a kidney appointment and somebody blabbed that I had been nominated for Dreamflight – I wasn’t supposed to have been told. A month later a letter arrived for my mum and confirmed it. I was just so excited.”
Generosity of Volunteers
Dreamflight is celebrating its 32nd year, having been supported by the late Princess of Wales for its first trip. More recently, a host of celebrities including Ryder Cup-winning golfer Ian Poulter, entertainer Sir Cliff Richard, and Saturdays singer Una Healy have all dedicated time to help the charity.
Charity founder Pat Pearce said:
“32 years on, I look around and I’m really proud to see a charity that keeps going year after year, supported by very kind people, and features only one person drawing a salary. Not many charities can say that, and it is down to the generosity of the volunteers and those who help fund Dreamflight.”
The entire trip costs approximately £800,000 and covers everything from a chartered British Airways jet to three meals a day. This year, British Airways crew members raised £150,000 through a series of charity events, including a swim from Alcatraz Island to the San Francisco mainland.
For more information on the charity, visit Dreamflight.org.