The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Children's flight to Lapland lifts off from Glasgow Prestwick Airport

CHILDREN from all over Scotland arrived at Glasgow Prestwick Airport in Ayrshire this morning set for a memorable visit to Lapland.

[Picture shows: Glasgow Prestwick Airport's Carrie Paterson and Gemma Rooney with six-year-old Keiran MacLean.]

Every year the charity When You Wish Upon A Star take planeloads of courageous youngsters who suffer from life threatening illnesses to meet the real Santa Claus.

And this morning the Nottingham-based charity took to the skies from Prestwick for the second time, after last year’s trip - their first from Scotland - was deemed a huge success.

An aircraft carrying 70 youngsters, family members and carers on board took off at 7am this morning and is due to return at 9.30pm tonight.

Also on board and tasked with keeping spirits high throughout the day were the BBC’s Jeremy Spake, who has close links with When You Wish Upon A Star, and Chico of X Factor fame.

[Picture shows: Chico seen with Keith & Kay Stephen and their six-year-old son Gregor.]

The trip allows the brave youngsters and their families to put their troubles aside for a short time, and Lapland has plenty to keep them occupied, with giant snowmen and sleigh rides with Rudolph and teams of huskies among the attractions.

The mood was best summed up by East Kilbride mum Tammi McManus who was travelling with her six-year-old son Anton, who was supposed to visit Lapland with the charity last year, but was unable to travel.

[Picture shows: Chico with six-year-old Anton McManus and mum Tammi.]

Tammi said: “It’s the brightest I have ever seen him at five in the morning!” and revealed that Anton had never been on a plane or seen ‘real’ snow.

Glasgow Prestwick Airport chief executive Mark Rodwell revealed that the airport agreed to waive the normal landing, handling and parking charges to show support for the charity, while those who travelled on the flight were given free car parking facilities.

Mark commented: “It was great to see the children and their families here this morning looking so excited. The charity behind this is a very worthwhile cause to support, as the children and their families have experienced some hard times.

“We hope this trip will bring some much-needed fun into their lives and a smile to their faces. The airport has done everything we can to help make their experience a happy one.”

Nuance, operators of the Tax and Duty Free store at Glasgow Prestwick Airport, and WH Smith both contributed to the goodie bags handed out by the airport, which also included a group photograph of everyone before they left.

SSP, who operate most of the airport’s food and beverage outlets, supplied refreshments, while check-in staff got into the spirit of things by dressing up as Elves.

[Picture shows: Children, families and carers ready for take-off.]

The charity hopes that this year’s trip will give the youngsters a massive boost, some priceless memories and, hopefully, put them firmly on the road to recovery.


No comments: