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Enjoying the Ride at a Theme Park

September 14, 2010

On Wednesday 1 September I joined nine other FedEx staff for the launch of the Action for Children and FedEx joint programme, “Delivering hope to children” in the UK.  Also attending were 18 young carers from the Action for Children’s Derbyshire Young Carers Project who had arrived to enjoy a day out.

Fortunately it was a rare sunny day when we got to the Alton Towers theme park, but I doubt even a downpour would have dampened the spirits of the children whom we were there to meet.

Before we got to the rides we had breakfast with the children and they talked about what it was like to be a young carer and what the Action for Children project meant to them. Sitting with a couple of the children, with one girl as young as eight-years-old, and hearing their experiences, was a truly humbling experience. These young people have caring responsibilities that many adults would struggle with, for example, looking after a parent with disabilities before getting their own breakfast ready and then heading out the door for school.

When I asked one boy what it meant to be at Alton Towers for the day he told me that it was about being able to have a laugh and a smile and meeting others in a similar situation. That’s what’s great about the fund that we have set up – we are giving children a day off to just remember what it is like to be a child again. The fund will go towards specific activities or short breaks for the vulnerable and neglected children supported by Action for Children. This is in addition to our fundraising activities that we hope will raise even more money and therefore benefit even more children.

While we were getting to hear about their lives the children could have easily got bored, but fortunately Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom) from the Harry Potter films and Action for Children Ambassador, was on hand to chat to the children and to sign autographs.

After a few quick photos, the children ran off to the theme park, leaving the adults in their wake to hold the bags. I could be wrong, but I think a couple us may have been using that as an excuse…

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