A GROUP of children who have been fighting cancer will have an unforgettable Lapland Christmas thanks to a dedicated man who raised more than £10,000 in Solihull – and there is still space for one deserving family to join the magical trip.
Matt Denning set up Matt’s Mission Children’s Charity which grants extraordinary wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses and severe special needs in 2011.
He launched an appeal earlier this year to take five families with poorly youngsters, from the Solihull area and across the Midlands, on holiday over the festive season.
Only four of the family spots have been filled so Matt is still searching for another lucky boy or girl who deserves an extra special Christmas and is inviting people to nominate poorly youngsters they think would like to go.
As well as organising family trips, Matt’s charity also sees ‘mascots’ visit schools for children with special educational needs, hospices and hospital to give children gifts.
To collect the money he needed for the magical Christmas Lapland visit, Matt spent more than 550 hours on his feet collecting funds, dressed at Robin from Batman, at the Solihull Game store.
He also raised an extra £4,000 for a special Disney trip for two youngster with Meningitis who wanted to go to Lapland but would not be able to enjoy it as much because they had no arms or legs.
Four-year-old Abbey, who happened to walk past him during his collection in the town centre, will be one of the youngsters going on the trip.
After being invited to go along her and her mum decided to do their bit and helped raise a £1,000 for the cause.
Speaking to The Observer about his festive mission, Matt said the fantastic support he’d had meant that as well as the Lapland and Disney holidays, the charity had been able to give more than 300 children special gifts so far this year.
“The passion and the dedication and the love of the charity is one thing but the amazing support of the public who have given more than £10,000 from the Solihull area is breathtaking and has meant that everything being done has been able to be achieved,” he added.
“On behalf of the children and the families and the charity, a massive thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
If you know of a child and family who deserve and could benefit from the Lapland experience, visit www.mattsmission.co.uk to nominate them.
if you would like to donate money to Matt’s Mission visit: www.goldengiving.com/charity/matts-mission or text donate MMIS11 £5 to 70070.