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Dreamflight offers holiday of a lifetime to youngsters

26 October 2016 10:22

Florida is known as the Sunshine State

Florida is known as the Sunshine State

Almost 200 ill youngsters have been given the chance to enjoy a holiday of a lifetime thanks to the annual Dreamflight trip.

After being nominated by health professionals from around the UK, 192 children were able to head across the Atlantic to Florida for 10 days.

During their time in the Sunshine State, they visited major attractions such as SeaWorld, Universal Studios and Disney World.

Because of their health conditions, some of the children had not been able to leave home before. Volunteer health professionals acted as chaperones during the Florida trip.

As part of their holiday, the youngsters were offered the chance to swim with dolphins at Orlando's Discovery Cove.

Travel insurance

Wherever people venture on holiday, whether it's Florida or elsewhere in the world, travel insurance can prove beneficial if they encounter any mishaps.

This type of insurance can cover Britons against transport disruptions, medical costs and even things like lost baggage.

Long history

The Dreamflight scheme is marking its 30th year, with Cliff Richard, Myleene Klass and the late Princess of Wales giving up their time to it over the years.

Charity founder Pat Pearce said it was a particularly special moment when Princess Diana waved off the first trip three decades ago.

She added: "When I started it I thought it was just a holiday of a lifetime, I didn't realise how far reaching it (Dreamflight) is. The children get so much from each other, not from us adults. They see possibly somebody worse off than themselves and they think, 'Yes, I can do it'.

"For example, our former Dreamflight children now have 37 Paralympic medals. Another came back as a doctor. It's not just the holiday of a lifetime, it does change lives."

The Paralympic champion Liz Johnson has volunteered her time to the scheme. She travelled on one of the Dreamflight trips when she was a child.

She said that for some of the children who go on the trips, a positive "subtle impact" will be seen over the course of their lives, which is true in her case.

She said: "Everything links back to that - the opportunities I'm getting and the person I've become are because of my experiences as a para athlete and it was Dreamflight that gave me the confidence to pursue that career."