17 lucky young people joined YLF for ‘The Flight of Dreams’, boarding a Thomas Cook aeroplane and searching the skies for Santa Claus!
Our rather excited group arrived at Stansted Airport. During check in we were greeted by some of Santa’s elves who informed us that they had been searching for Santa all morning – to no avail – and now they needed our help!
After checking in, we went through security and were then led to the departure lounge where everyone was handed a packed lunch to eat whilst still keeping a sharp eye out for Santa!
With Santa still not in sight, it was time for everyone, including the elves, to board the plane and prepare for take-off. Once everyone had been strapped in, the plane’s engines let out a massive roar and at the same time so did almost everyone on the plane.
For many this was the first time they had ever been on an aeroplane! The sheer excitement of the take-off was a highlight for many and this was clear from the screams and lots of smiles! "WOW, this is AMAZING, I have never been on a plane before!!!"
Once the plane was up in the air and above the clouds, the search for Santa resumed. The elves took over the plane’s PA system and the Christmas songs began!
After a few songs, the pilot announced that we needed to look out the window to keep an eye out for Santa and his reindeers.
Suddenly, as if by magic, Santa made his way inside the plane and greeted all the children whilst the Christmas songs continued. Then, just as we thought the trip couldn’t get any more exciting, Hamley Bear appeared and joined Santa as he walked down the aisle.
Soon, it was almost time to land so Santa said goodbye to everyone and Hamley Bear waved, and as quickly as they had arrived, they were gone again.
As the plane started descending, we were all asked to return to our seats and get ready for landing. All of the children started shouting and screaming with excitement and there was cheers and clapping when the plane touched the ground. One of our young people said "That was so exciting, I loved the take off and landing!"
The young people were escorted back to the airport entrance and much to their amazement, Santa was there with his elves surrounded by Christmas presents and decorations. The young people were so excited and they all got to sit with Santa and have a chat with him about what they wanted this year for Christmas. All of the young people received a gift from Santa and said goodbye again drawing a close on their magical day.
"It was the best day ever, being on a plane, seeing Santa and the elves!"
"Everything was great, it couldn’t have been better!"
"That was so exciting, I have never been on a plane before!"
"The elves were great, they made lots of jokes!"
A huge thank you to Thomas Cook Children's Charity and YLF President Clive Emson for supporting us in giving our young people this magical and exciting opportunity! Also a big thank you to Betty Earl at Medway Council for arranging with schools for children to attend.