The Destination Florida Story
1987 Destination Disney was created by Dr David Evans and Sister Alex Shaw. Inspired by when a group of northern based children were nominated to go on a trip to Florida through a London based charity, yet they were unfortunately not selected. The aim was to provide a holiday of a lifetime for children with life-threatening illnesses and conditions who were living in the northern part of England. We also decided to change our name and Destination Florida was born.
1988 The first Destination Florida trip took place with only 25 children, all staying at Coco Beach!
1991 On the 30th of July Destination Florida became a registered charity on the charity commission and we were given the charity number of 1003674.
1994 Michael Hymanson MBE joined Destination Florida as our Chairman. To this day his outstanding dedication to the charity has allowed over 1600 children to attend on one of our life-changing trips to Florida.
1998 We decided to start taking the children on a shopping day in Florida. It has now become one of the most exciting days for the children and a lot of them save their daily pocket money provided, to buy themselves something very special.
2000 This trip year we decided to take the children to Disney’s Magic Kingdom. Our children were very excited to see a very famous mouse! Destination Florida was growing, our volunteers had tripled and we needed bigger premises. In March we moved from Manchester Airport to our current home, Clarendon Business Centre.
2006 We visited Euro Disney! Taking 12 children from Henshaw’s School for the Blind. This was a 4 day extra ‘mini trip’.
2010 We decide to stop visiting Sea World and started visiting one of our now most beloved theme parks, Animal Kingdom! Hakunah Matata!
2014 We introduced “Sponsor a day” to corporate companies, such as Morson, Hustwood Holdings, Together Money and many more. Each day is dedicated to a sponsor, with their logo being displayed proudly on our t-shirts around the parks. This has become hugely successful and we are very lucky to have the most amazing support from companies, both past and present.
2018 Destination Florida turned 30 years old! We invited representatives from our 2018 sponsors to join us on the trip. This was a fantastic way for them to see what their sponsorship went towards and the difference it makes to the children’s lives. Time for change, we also had a whole new re-brand from logo to website!
2020 We were very proud to be honoured with the prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service 2020. We went totally digital with all our trip applications, making the process much easier! The virtual era was upon us and we also hosted two very successful fundraisers during the pandemic.
2020 We raised an amazing amount of money with our first ever charity extra campaign, which was a huge triumph! We also held our first Ladies Lunch which was fabulous!
2022 We can’t wait to see what this year has in store!
Michael Hymanson MBE
Gerard Mason OBE
Dr Adam Nicholls