Families affected by the Manchester Arena bombing were whisked away on a star-studded trip to Disneyland Paris. Those who lost loved ones in the bombing on May 22, 2017, following a concert by Ariana Grande, were treated to a magical day just before Christmas. They were jetted off with British Airways from Manchester to Disneyland Paris with John Bishop yesterday (December 19).
Some of the youngsters who were at the Arena, or were affected by the events in May, were treated to a day to remember with Liverpool comedian John and some of the cast from Chester-based soap Hollyoaks.
They were welcomed on board a special early morning Christmas charter flight from Manchester Airport to Paris where they were met by two more famous faces, Michelle Keegan and Mark Wright, for a fun-filled day at Disneyland Paris.
This is the fifth time British Airways and Disneyland Paris have teamed up to organize a magical day out, but it’s the first time the flight has operated from Manchester.
The trip is part of British Airways’ celebrations to mark the airline reaching a landmark £17 million raised for Flying Start, its global charity partnership with Comic Relief since 2010. The money raised has helped Comic Relief fund projects in the UK and around the world, including the Youth Factory Zone in Manchester who are also sending 10 youngsters on the trip.
Mary Barry, British Airways’ community investment manager, said: “We wanted to give some of the families a Christmas day out, to have fun and meet some of our celebrity ambassadors. We are very grateful to Disneyland Paris for agreeing to work with us once again and to all the celebrities for giving their time to come with us.”
British Airways and Disneyland Paris have been working with the Red Cross and Love Manchester to identify which families to take on the trip.
Community outreach and charitable giving have been a priority activity for Disneyland Paris since the resort opened in 1992. Disney magic is shared through the Disney VoluntEARS programme, whereby employees donate their time and talents to others through outreach events. In total, 755 Disney VoluntEARS gave over 4,332 hours to community service in 2017. The same year, Disneyland Paris offered its support to more than 300 different European associations, with over 1,000 community outreach events organized and supported every year including onsite day events, wishes granted to children, and visits to medical centers.
Annabel Altmann, Senior Manager of Disneyland Paris Corporate Citizenship, said “We are proud to be partnering with British Airways for a fifth year in a row, giving over 50 people from Manchester a fantastic day trip before Christmas and helping to support Flying Start.”
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