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Nisa’s charity Makes a Difference for sick children at Christmas

Published on 26 November 2015

Nisa’s Making a Difference Locally charity is supporting the When You Wish Upon a Star organisation with a huge £100,000 donation, to help fund this year’s Christmas trip for children with life-threatening or terminal illnesses.

The £100,000 contribution is the largest single donation ever made by Making a Difference Locally and represents the continuation of a long standing partnership with the charity.

When You Wish Upon a Star’s mission is to grant the wishes of children living with a life threatening illness, to allow them and their families respite from the strain of dealing with the child’s illness as they have fun and create precious memories together.

The donation from Making a Difference Locally will be used to fund When You Wish Upon a Star’s annual Christmas trip, which this year will be a journey on board the “Santa Express”. Around 120 children, along with their carers and a full medical team from When You Wish Upon a Star, will be taking a trip on board the Santa Express this year thanks to the £100,000 donation.

The charity is renowned for taking a large number of children to Lapland each year, however this year Santa will be coming to the UK to visit the children to make the trip more accessible to those with particularly limiting illnesses, including those with heart conditions, spina bifida and muscular dystrophy as well as children suffering from cancer, leukaemia and genetic disorders.

The special train, which normally operates as the Belmond Northern Belle (sister train to the world famous Venice-Simplon Orient-Express) is being transformed into the Santa Express for the journey, taking the children on a Christmas themed journey in search of Santa. Collecting from four regional train stations on the 16th December, the children will be treated to breakfast, magicians and musicians, various activities and one or two very special guests. On their trip the children will go to Santa's “Secret Retreat” for fun, food and festive activities, where they will meet Santa himself before re-boarding the Santa Express to enjoy a full Christmas Dinner and more entertainment.

Joanne Wright, Area Manager for When You Wish Upon a Star commented: "It's fair to say that Making a Difference Locally has made this trip happen for our very deserving children this year, and I can't thank them enough. With wish requests trebling over the last year, the money which would normally have paid for the Christmas trip was instead used to fund these. Our children really do deserve some special magic and excitement, and this day trip will provide not only them, but their families, with some very special memories. The heart-breaking fact is that for some this will be a final Christmas, and we want to help make it as magical and memorable as possible. We hope that the local community and businesses will realise how vital their support is so that our work can continue, as it is only with their help that we can secure future trips in the coming years."

Kate Carroll, Charity Manager for Nisa’s Making a Difference Locally said: “I am delighted that Making a Difference Locally could support this magical Christmas trip for these very deserving children and their families. We have worked in partnership with them for many years and are proud to have played a part in so many special Christmas visits to Lapland.”

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