Apply for the trip of a lifetime
All-encompassing careHigh quality medical and pastoral care is provided by 110 adults throughout the time we are away in Florida. This is achieved through the delivery of a mobile hospital consisting of doctors, nurses and physiotherapists. Additionally, adult helpers work with the medical staff to create six ‘caring teams’ to enable one to one support to be provided for each child.
Caring for the children who are taken on a trip is often a full-time responsibility for their parents or guardians. Therefore, only children travel to Florida allowing their carers to have priceless eight days of respite whilst having the reassurance of knowing their child will continue to have professional medical care.
Creating magical momentsThe children who are invited to join a Destination Florida trip are dealing with medical issues every day of their lives. The charity donates much needed sunshine into children’s lives by providing an environment where they are supported and cared by teams of medical staff and helpers.
Coping with an illness can be a lonely place, especially when you are a child. Our team-based approach creates a mutually supportive environment and the children often make lifelong friendships.
What care is provided?High quality medical and pastoral care is provided throughout the time we are away in Florida. This is achieved through the delivery of a mobile hospital consisting of doctors, nurses and physiotherapists. Additionally, adult helpers work with the medical staff to create six ‘caring teams’ and this enables one to one support to be provided for each child.
Our ‘No Barriers’ approachOnce approved by the charity’s medical trustee, a child’s background or family circumstances is no barrier for Destination Florida. If the charity can get travel insurance for a child, they will travel to Florida.
Parents and GuardiansCaring for the children who are taken on a trip is often a full-time responsibility for their parents or guardians. Therefore, only children go to Florida with the charity as this allows their carers to have priceless eight days of respite whilst having the reassurance of knowing their child will continue to have professional medical care.
- Return flights
- Hotel accommodation
- All food and drink
- T shirts and a hat
- Coach travel to and from the hotel
- Theme park and other entrance fees
- $30 a day spending money per child
Frequently asked questions
Who can nominate?
Parents, carers, medical professionals and family.
What are the criteria for the children?
We only take children who live in the North of England.
Children must be aged between 6 and 16 on the date of travel to Orlando. It would aid the process if the child already has a passport.
We accept nominations for children in full time wheelchairs.
Unfortunately, we don’t accept nominations for children with autism and severe behavioural issues, as we have found over the years that our trip is not the right experience for such children
The child must not have been to Florida before, or had a Florida wish granted by another charity.
How can I nominate?
We begin accepting nominations within the year of a trip. Follow our social media platforms for announcements relating to the opening of the nomination process.
What happens after a child is nominated?
To avoid disappointment, we strongly recommend that nominations are not discussed with children until the selection process is complete. We receive many nominations each year, which are reviewed by our medical trustee. Once the selection process is complete, the Destination Florida team will contact the nominator and the child directly to let them know the outcome.
When will I hear that my child has been selected?
We aim to send invitations to children within 30 days of acceptance of nomination. We recommend that children are not told about the trip until an invitation arrives, to avoid disappointment.
Do I need to pay for any part of my child’s Destination Florida trip?
No, Destination Florida funds all aspects of the child’s experience, including travel, accommodation, meals, theme park entry, refreshments, and a small amount of spending money in Orlando. It is a fully funded holiday. We provide t-shirts, baseball caps, drawstring bags and suitcases.
Can I go with my child on the trip?
Families don’t accompany the children to Orlando. The children are supported by a team of volunteers, including doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, and non-medical helpers. This experience helps to develop a child’s independence and confidence.
As a parent of child with a terminal illness & they tell you they want to go away for a week without you!!! I was apprehensive, terrified but found peace in the knowledge she was going to have an amazing time with DF, Sarah went to Florida as tired 12 year old having had 3 major surgeries that year. Whilst in Florida she had her 13th birthday there & blossomed into a confident & beautiful young girl. She made friends with people who didn’t ask questions or stare… she just bloomed with the most gorgeous smile. I can’t thank what the charity did for Sarah she grew up into a caring young lady & never said why me, she encouraged her sister to apply as a student nurse.
Sadly Sarah died soon after her 16th birthday but as a family we have never forgotten what DF did for us, Sarah’s sister Beki supported a weeks trip to Florida as a student nurse. I have been blessed to enjoy 3 trips as a non medical helper… it’s not easy, the days are long & tiring but to see the children’s faces each & everyday literately having the time of their lives, I cry happy tears most days. I cant thank the parent/cares enough for trusting us with their most important treasure, their child. I can always guarantee that their child will return a more confident & happy child with lifelong friends and a week of memories that will never leave them.
This is why I love to volunteer & help raise money through out the year to enable families like mine to see their children grow & blossom with a fabulous holiday to Florida.
I’m Annabel and in 2016, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to join the Florida trip of a lifetime. I’ve never forgotten how happy I felt when my hospital play specialist said she had nominated me for a place, and even more excited and thrilled when my place was confirmed. The trip was absolutely amazing and it raised my spirits and confidence as the Destination Florida team guided me to try experiences and enjoy every minute.
I know from experience this charity does a fabulous job with the children. My son had the experience of going to Florida and it’s all thanks to destination Florida. I’ll be forever grateful for what this charity did and the memories it gave to my son.
Many thanks and keep up the amazing work you do once again thank you from the bottom of my heart