This charity has made the wishes of four Sheffield children with life-threatening illness come true

Many children dream of meeting Santa, and for four children from Sheffield their wish came true this year.

By Rochelle Barrand
Tuesday, 17th December 2019, 11:21 am

The opportunity was given to the youngsters, who all have life-threatening illnesses, by charity When You Wish Upon A Star.

The charity organised a trip to Lapland for Rowen Riddett, aged five, Alexander Wan-Ching-Yee, age eight, Joshua Dunford, age 13, and Timothy Haywood, age 15, and their families, especially so they could meet Santa Claus. They were joined by other families from across the country.

Joshua said: “I’m really happy that was I was able to go on this trip. I was excited to travel to somewhere new and was looking forward to enjoying the snow and seeing my little brother visit Santa.”

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(L-R) Dad Nicholas Dunford, Mum Reiko Dunford, Joshua Dunford, brother Liam Dunford and big sisters Hannah and Claire Dunford

After landing in Lapland, the children were taken to a magical forest to explore their snow-covered surroundings and enjoy a firework display with guardians and family members.

They were joined by stars of ITV soap Emmerdale, Ash Palmisciano, Jonny McPherson and Natalie Robb, who had joined the group for the festivities to help raise awareness of the trip and the work carried out by the charity.

Karen Martt, general manager of the charity, said: ‘We always look forward to our annual Lapland visit - it’s such a special Christmas present to give to those families that need it the most.

“The trip allows children with life-threatening illnesses to forget about the gruelling rigmarole of treatments and soak up the magic of Christmas with Santa himself.

“We love being able to create a safe space for children to relax and make memories that last forever, without worrying about the stresses of life at home.”

Following a hot dinner and a chance to warm up, the guests were treated to a meeting with Santa Claus, where each child got the chance to tell him what they wanted for Christmas and receive an early present.

It costs £900 to send each child and their guardian to Lapland, so donations to the charity are essential to ensure the organisation can continue this magical Christmas tradition.

Visit or call 0115 9791720 for more information.