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Neston travel agent rescues children's charity trip to meet Santa in Lapland

The collapse of Monarch Airlines this week left a Neston children’s charity fearing a planned trip to Lapland would be in jeopardy.

But after a frantic morning trying to come up with an alternative plan, Northern Lights Children’s Charity has announced that local travel agent Perfect Getaways have come to the rescue.

In their 30th anniversary year, the charity was due to take 20 children with life limiting illnesses away on a five-day trip to Lapland on Friday, December 15.

The charity has worked with Monarch for the past 25 years and has enjoyed many successful trips supported by the administration team, flight crew and representatives on the ground, who made the trips special for every single child.

The well organised holidays were specifically tailored to the needs of the children by Monarch but without them, the charity was left with no flights, no hotel and no activities for a party of 32.

The committee spent all morning on the day of Monarch’s announcement trying desperately to find an alternative holiday to ensure the children due to travel this year would still be able to enjoy the magic of Lapland.

Children meet Santa on last year’s Northern Lights trip to Lapland

After speaking with several travel companies specialising in Lapland trips and searching for a holiday online, the committee was struggling to make any progress.

In need of specialist assistance, chair of Northern Lights Karen Jones contacted Niamh Daly from Perfect Getaways in a last-ditch attempt to save the holiday.

The whole team at Perfect Getaways travel agents in Neston, including owner Nicola Palmer, were involved with finding a holiday including Shirley Daly, who led the search and successfully came up with an alternative holiday.

Karen said: “Nothing was too much trouble for them and they made numerous calls to ensure that our specific requirements would be met for the 20 children travelling.”

Although the group will now travel from Doncaster with further details still needing to be finalised, Perfect Getaways have ensured that Northern Lights are able to take 20 children with life limiting illnesses on a trip of a lifetime to Lapland.

Karen complimented the travel agents who only opened their new Neston branch on Friday.

She added: “We would not hesitate to use Perfect Getaways for our future travel needs and we hope to build on this relationship.”

Lapland coordinator for Northern Lights Alan Johnson added: “What a great new asset to Neston Perfect Getaways is and they opened at just the right time for us! Thanks to Perfect Getaways the hunt for Santa is still on!”

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