Hospice children from the East Midlands including Melton take to the skies to find Santa

William Billingsley (11), from Melton, with an East Midlands Airport hostess, watched by brother Finley (7) PHOTO: Supplied
William Billingsley (11), from Melton, with an East Midlands Airport hostess, watched by brother Finley (7) PHOTO: Supplied
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Children living in the East Midlands with life-limiting conditions and supported by Rainbows hospice boarded a jet and went in search of Father Christmas - thanks to Thomas Cook and radio station Gem.

Excited youngsters and their families (from towns including Melton) who receive care from the Loughborough based charity were treated to a ‘Flight of Dreams’ as they boarded an aircraft to seek out Santa.

According to information from air traffic control at East Midlands Airport the jolly man in red had been sighted making practice runs in his sleigh above the clouds.

The invitation to families was extended through Gem’s Cash for Kids, the charity of the radio station, which joined forces with Thomas Cook to give the children a festive treat to remember.

Julie Macauley, family liaison worker at Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People, said: “Children were encouraged to sing Christmas carols to attract Santa to the aircraft as the flight headed north - and sure enough he appeared onboard, having parked his sleigh on the roof of the jet, promising to meet families back at the airport with a special pre-Christmas present.