A swimming teacher is to help children with life-threatening conditions live their dream and experience the magic of Disney.
Philippa Tate, 51, from Irchester, near Wellingborough, will be supporting 22 children and their families on Caudwell Children’s Destination Dreams programme, a trip which helps youngsters battling life-threatening conditions enjoy the holiday of a lifetime.
Philippa, who works at Waendel Leisure centre, Wellingborough, answered the charity’s plea for support in a national newspaper and was compelled to help make a difference.
Staged annually, Destination Dreams is specifically designed to help families enjoy precious time away from constant medical appointments and daily struggles relating to their child’s serious illness.
What makes the charity trip unique is the team of professional medics which travels with the families.
During the week-long trip to Florida, Philippa will join a team of 30 volunteers who support the families every step of the way, ensuring they have a stress-free and fun-packed holiday.
She said “I had been thinking about volunteering so applied when I saw the opportunity in the newspaper and was thrilled to be selected.
“I’m most looking forward to working alongside an amazing team of people to make families dreams come true.
“After the comprehensive, informative and enjoyable training we received I am looking forward to broadening my awareness and understanding of the difficulties faced by these families.
“I have been overwhelmed at the support, encouragement, help with fundraising and enthusiasm of not only my immediate family, but friends and colleagues. This has boosted my confidence before this considerable personal challenge.
“I would definitely encourage others to become involved.”
During the trip volunteers are responsible for helping families around the theme parks, helping with luggage, supporting siblings and contributing to the overall smooth running of the holiday.
Ahead of this year’s Destination Dreams trip, which takes place in December, Philippa has also raised vital funds towards the trip thanks to the help of friends and family.
She said: “I have had three fundraising events, a coffee morning which a friend held for me, I held a Pimms and cupcake afternoon and my work place kindly donated raffle prizes which included a year’s free swimming lessons and a pool party.
“I must say a big thank you to everyone who has helped me in the last four months, I will be taking your support and good wishes with me to Florida.”
Trudi Beswick, chief executive of Caudwell Children, said “Without the support of volunteers like Philippa Destination Dreams could not go ahead due to the amount of additional supported needed for the trip.
“The role of a volunteer for Destination Dreams is crucial and not only are their efforts recognised by our charity, they are extensively and profoundly felt by the families who take part.
“We are thrilled that Philippa has chosen to support Caudwell Children and we cannot thank her enough.”
Anyone wishing to find out more about Caudwell Children or volunteering opportunities can visit www.caudwellchildren.com, call 01782 600443 or email Roxanne.firstname.lastname@example.org.