Lapland Trip Brings a Smile to the Faces of Children Living with Life Limiting Ilness

23rd December 2022

It was a very early 4am alarm call for 9 very lucky boys and girls from the South Eastern Trust area who were selected to travel to Lapland on the 21 December 2022 to visit Santa Claus.

The Northern Ireland Children to Lapland Trust opens nominations each year for medical staff to nominate children who have life limiting illnesses to take this magical trip to the world famous, Santa Park, in Lapland’s capital city Rovaniemi.

The children, accompanied by their parents, Dr Karen Courtenay and Deputy Sister Lorna Boulter enjoyed a fun 3 hour flight which included; breakfast, writing letters to Santa, face painting and a Christmas sing-a-long.

Upon landing they were whisked away to Santa Park, a picturesque winter wonderland, where each family was given a choice of exciting activities including; baking gingerbread cookies with Mrs Claus, taking part in and qualifying from Elf School, watching an acrobatic show, taking a sleigh ride, playing in the snow and of course having a private meeting with Santa Claus in his grotto.

Consultant Paediatrician, Dr Karen Courtenay described her experience by saying, “It was a joy to support the trip and watch families, who cope with a wide range of medical challenges throughout the year enjoy such a magical experience.

“It was lovely to see the children’s reactions to all the activities and of course meeting Santa himself.”

The homeward bound journey was just as much fun as the rest of the day, with lots of Christmas themed activities provided for everyone to enjoy. The boys and girls got to take part in a seat decorating competition, were served Christmas themed food and were given gifts to remember their special day.