good deeds quietly done When illness strikes, it’s normality which suffers, along with time with loved ones and family fun. But there are charities working hard to mend this gap, by offering seriously ill children and adults the opportunity for days out, with all the care they need to make these the best they can be
his issue, we celebrate the 30th anniversary of
orphaned, as well as children of terminally ill parents, those
charity Give Kids the World (GKTW) (page 52), which
who are victims of abuse and also young carers.
works to create magical moments for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.
Led by CEO Pamela Landwirth, GKTW raises around $40m
every year in cash and kind to run its specially adapted village in Kissimmee, Florida, where children stay while visiting the
And this special work isn’t limited to the theme park sector. In the Netherlands, Stitching Ambulance Wens Nederland (Ambulance Wish Foundation) has helped 6,000 people to fulfil their last requests since its formation in 2007. With a staff of 200 medically-trained volunteers, the charity
state’s many attractions. Over 8,000 children are hosted each
helps those who have become immobilised by illness, fulfilling
year, while many more are given access to the on-site facilities
wishes varying from museum and cultural visits to theatre
while staying elsewhere. This is just one example of the amazing work which is quietly going on, day in and day out across the attractions world, enabling children to make great memories with their families and to have fun in spite
trips and sailing experiences.
These organisations and attractions put compassion before profit to enrich the lives of children, adults and families who need additional support
Last year, the Rijksmuseum played its part by working with Stitching Ambulance Wens to organise for three terminally ill patients to see The Late Rembrandt exhibition, which included more than 100 works by the artist during the final
of the many and varied
phase of his life. The patients
health, mobility and financial
were taken to the museum by
challenges they face. Also celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2016 is Dreamflight, a UK-based charity co-founded by Patricia Pearce and Derek
ambulance on hospital beds with nurses in attendance and given private after-hours access to the exhibition. These organisations and attractions – and those like them
Pereira to raise money to take deserving children to Walt
– put compassion before profit to enrich the lives of children,
Disney World and other attractions in Florida.
adults and families whose circumstances mean they need
Dreamflight gives the children a holiday of a lifetime, with
additional care, assistance and resources to enjoy quality of life.
adventures, camaraderie and life-changing experiences worth
Such work represents our industry at its very best. It also
many thousands of dollars, much of it donated by attractions
shows just how much it means to many to be able to spend
operators. It has helped over 5,000 children to date.
time in attractions they personally identify with. A yearning for
Also working to support children in a range of challenging circumstances, Merlin’s Magic Wand, the charity arm of Merlin
normality is a huge part of illness and in offering this, these business are doing a power of good. We applaud them all.
Entertainments, gives tickets and assistance to children who are in foster care or who have recently been adopted or
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©Cybertrek 2016 AM 4 2016
Liz Terry, editor. Twitter: @elizterry
Attractions Management is the magazine and online community for decision-makers in the global attractions industry