Volunteer for our next trip

Apply as a volunteer

Destination Florida organises life enhancing biennial trips to Florida for around 72 children from across the North of England. Lasting for eight days, the children are given the opportunity to visit all the major theme parks, including; Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. They also have a relaxing and team building day involving time in the hotel pool, a shopping trip and watching a Cirque Du Soleil show, plus a final night party with entertainment.

All-encompassing care

High 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 moments

The 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.

Frequently asked questions

When is the next trip?

Our next Destination Florida trip will take place September 2023 – date to be announced soon!

Who goes on the trip?

We take 72-75 children from across the North of England with life-threatening and life-limiting conditions to the theme parks of Orlando, Florida, for 8 days every 2 years. The children are split into 6 groups, each with both medical and non-medical volunteers.

  • 72-75 children
  • 48 Doctors, nurses, and medical support staff
  • Roughly 48 Non-medical volunteers
  • All adults on the trip are volunteers who believe passionately that Destination Florida can change children’s lives.

What are the criteria for volunteers?

We ask that all non-medical volunteers support Destination Florida as often as they can throughout the years leading up to a trip, including fundraising at least £500 towards their place on the trip.

All our volunteers must undertake an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and must be physically fit. There is a LOT of walking and the days can be long!

We will need all volunteers to confirm that they have been double vaccinated against COVID-19.

What volunteer roles are needed for the trip?

We need:

Paediatric medical volunteers – doctors, nurses, physiotherapists.

Camera crews and photographers.

Non-medical volunteers who have a passion for working with children and helping make magical memories for life.

I’d like to help Destination Florida in other ways.

You could sponsor a day of our trip! Sponsorship packages start at £10,000 for a day. If you would like more information, please contact becca@destinationflorida.org.uk.

We welcome support before the trip and at fundraising events. Please contact info@destinationflorida.org.uk if this is for you.

Lynda Pym

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.