It is estimated that over 100,000 children will spend time in hospitals and hospices across the UK this Christmas and national children’s charity Starlight aims to bring festive fun and laughter to these children and their families.
One of the ways that Starlight brightens the lives of very poorly children at Christmas is by granting once-in-a-lifetime wishes. Since it was founded by actress Emma Samms and her cousin Peter Samuelson in 1986, Starlight has been granting magical wishes for seriously and terminally children for nearly three decades and Christmas is one of the charity’s busiest times of the year!
While Starlight’s children ask for a huge range of wishes, one of the most popular wishes that children request at Christmas is to visit Father Christmas in Lapland. To make these wishes come true, every year Starlight organises a magical trip to Luosto, which is a traditional Finnish resort that offers an unforgettable Lapland experience.
Starlight’s eighth annual trip to Lapland saw ten families arrive in Lapland on 6th December. The snow had been falling since October and, with snow-capped trees and picturesque log cabins, Starlight’s families felt like Christmas had come early!
During their four-day stay, the families enjoyed breathtaking rides through the forest on sleighs pulled by a team of huskies, riding on snowmobiles and feeding the reindeer. They drank warming cups of berry juice around the campfire, made snowmen, threw snowballs and went sledging. They also got to meet the elves and, of course, Father Christmas himself!
By granting these children’s dearest wishes, Starlight brought some much-needed fun, laughter and happy memories to them and their families just in time for Christmas. One child that got to enjoy the trip was six year old Bradley. Bradley had been diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, which was a terrible shock for his family. To fight the disease, brave Bradley underwent a gruelling course of chemotherapy, which meant a very long stay in hospital.
Visiting Lapland was a dream come true for Bradley. His mum Sasha said, “This trip really gave Bradley something to look forward to during his very difficult days on medication. It was such a fun time for us all after what has been a very tough year. We have had such a happy family holiday, enjoying new experiences and giving us some amazing memories to share.”
Starlight grants wishes for seriously and terminally ill children and provides entertainment in hospitals and hospices across the UK. To find out more about Starlight or to make a donation, please visit www.starlight.org.uk.