A Christmas wish-of-a-lifetime was enjoyed by a Rushden youngster thanks to the efforts of a charity which helps children with serious and terminal illnesses.
Oliver Embleton, six, suffers from Duchene Muscular Dystrophy, a very rare condition which causes progressive muscle weakness.
His dearest Christmas wish was to meet Father Christmas and his elves in Lapland and the Starlight Children’s Foundation helped his dream come true.
Each year the charity sends a group of families to Luosto, which is a traditional Finnish resort that offers a magical Lapland experience, and Oliver and his family were able to join Starlight’s eighth annual trip in their quest to meet Santa.
With his mum Julie, dad Mark and twin brother Jack, he spent a perfect three days in Lapland, where they enjoyed a breathtaking ride through the forest on a sleigh pulled by a team of huskies, riding on snowmobiles weaving in and out of the snow covered trees, meeting the reindeer, enjoying a tranquil sleigh ride through the pine trees and, of course, meeting Santa and his elves.
On their return, mum Julie said: “The whole experience has been so magical and to see Oliver’s, and Jack’s, face when they saw Santa and the elves will be with us forever.
“We can’t put into words what this has meant to us as a family, we are just so grateful to Starlight for making our dreams come true.”
Also joining the families on the trip was actress and Starlight ambassador, Tina Hobley and her family, husband Oli Wheeler and two of her children, Olivia, six, and Orson, four.
Tina said: “It has been a truly inspiring trip to see these very poorly children having their wishes granted, I have taken so much away from it.
“The families are amazing, they are so positive and have a real verve for life and just get on with whatever is thrown at them.
“My family and I have some fantastic memories to cherish and I am sure the Starlight families do too.”