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Northern Lights - 2015: A Year to Remember

Author: Karen Jones Published: 31st December 2015 10:06

As we have come to the end of another year, I would like to send our thanks for an unbelievable 2015 for Northern Lights Children's Charity and send our good wishers for 2016 to all our supporters, volunteers, fundraisers and local community who have made this year such a success.

Northern Lights - 2015: A Year to RememberChildren enjoying this year's trip to Lapland.

Our trip to Lapland this year returned on the 23rd December with very excited children ready to spend Christmas with their families with amazing stories to tell about their time away. It is great to watch the children's faces light up with pleasure as they are being whisked along on sleds pulled by huskies and reindeers, driven around on snowmobiles, tobogganing and being presented with presents by the ‘real' Father Christmas. All the hard work fundraising is forgotten when we see this.

This year saw such a range of fundraising events with our first every sponsored abseil event when people took part in our "Northern Lights Goes South" event at Leasowe Lighthouse; dashing through the streets with our 2nd Elephant Santa Dash between Neston and Parkgate establishments; people running marathons, half marathons and 10ks; to those taking part in challenge races like the Spartan 5k, school events and celebrating all of this at our Northern Lights Ball just a month or so ago.

Northern Lights - 2015: A Year to RememberThe 2015 Elephant Santa Dash for Northern Lights.

All of this fundraising has also been supported by organisations such as Scottish Power who, for a second year sponsored eight children to travel to Lapland; Cash for Kids who sponsored another three children; a donation from a Manchester businessman who we met in Lapland a couple of years ago which allowed us to add another six children on the trip, together with many smaller donations allowing us to increase the number of children visiting Lapland this year to 20.

Of course 2015 will always be a special one for the charity, a year in which we were recognised by the Queen with the Queen's Award for Voluntary service in June and the enjoyment of receiving our award from the Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire in September where we shared a lovely afternoon with friends, family, supporters and the local community. Even our interview on Radio Merseyside was a bit of a first for us and we are honoured to hold this award and thanks for all the lovely feedback we have received.

Northern Lights - 2015: A Year to RememberKaren Jones and Alan Johnson at the Queen's Garden Party at Buckingham Palace, following the announcement of their Queen's Award.

2015 also ended on a high when on Christmas Day, Alan Johnson, the Charity's Secretary, and I were recognised by the Prime Minister and are the latest recipients of a Point of Light award, which recognises outstanding individual volunteers, people who are making a change in their community and inspiring others.  Speaking of the award, David Cameron said:"Karen and Alan have worked tirelessly for nearly 30 years to give children with life-limiting illnesses a magical trip of a lifetime at Christmas.

"As well as giving the children an incredible experience, they are helping to create wonderful memories for their families.

"I am delighted to recognise them as Points of Light this Christmas."

Again, these awards would not be possible without the help and support of a great team of people who make up the committee of Northern Lights, they give their time and expertise in organising fundraising events and then assist the children on these holidays of a lifetime. My thanks go to all the team. It is amazing to be recognised by the Prime Minister and we are honoured to hold these awards.

All the very best for 2016 and here's to another great year of fundraising.

Karen Jones
Northern Lights

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