Annual Disneyland trip for seriously ill and deserving children back up and running

2020 was the first time in 26 years that former Cork Person of the Year, John Looney had to cancel arrangements for children and volunteers to fly to Disneyland, Paris.
Annual Disneyland trip for seriously ill and deserving children back up and running

John praised the children who he said have displayed exceptional resilience while awaiting news of the trip. Cork City Hospitals Children's Club taking 82 sick and deserving children on a trip to Disneyland in Paris in October Clodz1@live.ie

A FAMOUS Cork charity that takes seriously ill and deserving children to Disneyland is finally welcoming nominations again after being forced to suspend operations for more than two years.

John Looney, who runs the Cork City Hospitals Children’s Club, said he has started accepting nominations again for a trip set to go ahead next year. He is also been reconnected with the families of children who had been selected to travel with the charity before Covid-19 dashed their hopes. John praised the children who he said have displayed exceptional resilience while awaiting news of the trip.

2020 was the first time in 26 years that former Cork Person of the Year, John Looney had to cancel arrangements for children and volunteers to fly to Disneyland, Paris.

The Cork City Hospitals Children’s Club was founded in 1992 by a small group of volunteers. It has since gone from strength to strength and now boats more than 40 volunteers made up of HSE staff, gardaí, doctors, nurses and members of the pubic. Throughout the year, the Cork City Hospitals Children’s Club brings sick and deserving children from CUH, Mercy Hospital, St Gabriel’s and the Cork Deaf Association on numerous trips, as well as hosting many fun and exciting events.

John spoke of the emotional nature of the trips.

“There are kids who go on these trips that have seen things that no children should ever have to see. When you see a parent in a tragic way or in a tragic accident that’s in their mind forever.” He explained how the chance gives children the opportunity to meet with other brave kids.

“There are a number of children that we have taken on these trips who have suffered at the hands of sexual abuse which is horrific,” he said. “The best thing about the club is that it can bring two children together who have been affected in the same way. They do talk to each other and that’s a great help. It allows them to see that they are not the only children this has happened to, even though it should never happen to any child. It also gives them a chance to talk to someone which is very important.” He praised members of the emergency services, many of whom volunteer with the charity.

“The gardaí are very good when it comes to organising trips for these children. Unfortunately-and while the children are not named-we are seeing prosecutions in the newspaper ever week. Even the gardaí on the trip say they love seeing the children, who might have been in their presence when sadly-through no fault of their own-somebody was arrested in the house. They might have seen them involved in a car crash or a fire and this gives them a chance to see the child happy and in different circumstances. It’s important that children in this situation that kids see their bravery rewarded.” Anyone interested in nominating a child for the Cork City Hospitals Children’s Club initiative can contact cchcc1994@gmail.com

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