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Pledging a further £5,000 to the Northern Ireland Children to Lapland Trust, funding a trip of a lifetime

The Bushmills Inn's fundraising efforts covered the cost of sending another six deserving children to Lapland in December, as the Northern Ireland charity, Northern Ireland Children to Lapland and Days to Remember Trust (NICLT), marked its 14th annual trip to the winter wonderland.
The Co Antrim venue raised an impressive £5,000 which supports the travel costs of sending six children with life-limiting and/or life-threatening conditions to the magical location of Rovaniemi, Finland.
In December last year, the Northern Ireland Children to Lapland and Days to Remember Trust (NICLT) organised its annual Lapland trip, providing a magical experience for 85 local children for the second year after the pandemic. This carefully coordinated journey requires extensive preparation with Trusts across Northern Ireland and relies on generous contributions from donors and corporate partners, including The Bushmills Inn, which has raised over £35,000 for the charity over the years.
The Bushmills Inn's ongoing support underscores its commitment to making the Lapland trip a cherished annual tradition, contributing to the joy and wonderment of deserving children in the Northern Ireland community.
Speaking about the fundraising, Alan Walls, General Manager of The Bushmills Inn, said:
"For the past seven years, we've actively raised funds for the Northern Ireland Children to Lapland and Days to Remember Trust, accumulating over £35,000 during this time. Being recognised as one of their corporate partners is a source of great pride for us.
"In the past year The Bushmills Inn and our valued customers have been able to contribute a further £5000 to assist the charity in its invaluable work.
"We're thrilled that our donation has played a part in covering the escalating costs of sending not just one, but six children to Lapland, Finland, to experience the magic of meeting Santa Claus at his home. This contribution aims to create lasting and cherished memories for the children and their families.
"The charity's resilience and commitment to bringing joy to deserving children, are truly commendable. We are honoured to support the charity in its continued mission to enrich the lives of deserving children."
Speaking about the recent trip, Colin Barkley, Chair, of Northern Ireland Children to Lapland and Days to Remember Trust said, "There's no Christmas gift more significant than bringing joy to young children facing life-limiting and life-threatening conditions and easing the usual challenges that come with travel for their families.
“During our 2023 trip, we had the privilege of witnessing the pure delight on the children's faces and we wish all our supporters could experience the happiness they've ignited through their unwavering support. We give our heartfelt thank you to The Bushmills Inn for standing alongside us throughout the years. In a landscape filled with numerous worthy charitable causes, we are honoured by their choice to continue to support us. This partnership significantly enhances our ability to fulfil our mission, offering terminally ill, life-limited, and deserving children from Northern Ireland truly cherished and magical experiences.”
Among the families sharing the magical experience in December were:
Angela McClements and son Alfie (9) from Ballymoney: “I cannot thank you and your team enough for a fantastic trip, one of many memories and dreams. Alfie had a ball, he will talk about these memories for years. In his words ‘it was the best day ever’. We feel very privileged to have been allowed to join you on this trip. I can’t put into words how thankful I am for the memories.”
Sharon Ogle and son Isaac (8) from East Belfast: “Lapland is magical. There is no other place like it. Isaac and I had so much fun and made so many new memories. Huskies, reindeer, elves, snowmobiles, sledges, sleighs, warm berry juice, graduating elf school, baking, arts and crafts, train, snow – and I mean snow right up to our knees when walking!, party on the plane and we met Santa! We will be eternally grateful to the NI Children to Lapland and Days to Remember Trust for this opportunity.”
Chris Power and son Daniel (10) from Dunmurry: “A huge thank you to all involved with the trip, it was unbelievable. Daniel had the best time, as did I seeing his excitement. A lot of work and time went into the trip.  It was flawless and we couldn't have asked for more, basically surprise after surprise from start to finish, thank you so much.”
Claire McAreavey and son Sam (5) from Gilford: “Thank you so much for a wonderful day. It was absolutely magical and something that Sam and I will treasure forever. I can’t tell you how much of a lift it has given us all at the end of a difficult year.”
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