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Sick children stranded by flight ban

PUBLISHED: 13:51 21 April 2010 | UPDATED: 17:30 30 June 2010

SICK youngsters set for a dream holiday in Disney World, Florida organised by a Norfolk-based charity were stranded at Gatwick airport for five nights by the volcanic ash flight ban.

SICK youngsters set for a dream holiday in Disney World, Florida organised by a Norfolk-based charity were stranded at Gatwick airport for five nights by the volcanic ash flight ban.

But just as the party feared they might have to cancel the trip, or organise an alternative holiday in the UK, they were finally able to check in for their Virgin flight this morning.

Four officers from Norfolk Constabulary, making the two-week trip in their spare time, were due to fly out with 12 children on Saturday but they were left marooned at the airport's Hilton hotel.

Insp Mark Haddow, who runs the charity The National Holiday Fund with his wife Mary from their home in Hemsby, near Great Yarmouth, admitted that if the flight ban had continued they would have had to sit down and decide whether to send the children home or try to arrange something in this country.

He said: “One of the issues is that the purpose of the holiday is partly to give respite to parents who may have other children to look after as well.”

Insp Haddow, from the Mile Cross, Catton and Fiddlewood safer neighbourhood team, is being helped on the trip by Sgt Chris Brooks of the city's west centre SNT, PC Rory Prior, from Bethel Street, Norwich, and PC Kay Johnson, from Lakenham and Tuckswood, Norwich.

The group, which includes youngsters with a range of chronic or life-limiting illnesses and temporary or permanent physical disabilities, is being supported by a doctor, nurses and physiotherapists also giving up their time.

To find out more about the charity and donate money, log on to www.nhfcharity.co.uk


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