A WARWICKSHIRE Police officer has a permanent reminder of her voluntary work with children with life-limiting illnesses.
Nikki Wardle answered the call of the Staffordshire-based national charity Caudwell Children, when they appealed for volunteers to help give 25 children the holiday of a lifetime.
The charity provide practical and emotional support to disabled children and their families and created the Destination Dreams programme ten years ago.
The trip to Disney World in Florida in December had such an impact on the 27 year-old that she was moved to commemorate the trip by getting a tattoo of Mickey Mouse and the charity’s logo inked above her left ankle as a permanent reminder.
She said: “The trip was incredibly rewarding! The children that are selected for the holiday have extremely challenging conditions and for most of them life is a succession of hospital stays and visits to the doctors.
“The whole family has to deal with the condition and this often means that siblings are overlooked. It can be extremely stressful for them as well as their poorly sister or brother.
“In my role as a volunteer I simply assisted families around the park’s each day – I carried bags, pushed buggies and wheelchairs and generally made life that much easier for them.
“So to see the smiles on the parents faces watching their children so obviously happy, and oblivious to their condition, was magical.”
Mark Bushell from the charity said volunteering on Destination Dreams was incredibly rewarding and something volunteers never forgot.
He added: “I think Nikki’s decision to have this tattoo shows just how powerful the experience is and to incorporate the charity’s purple butterfly logo, within the design, illustrates her support for Caudwell Children beautifully.
“The volunteers on Destination Dreams are very special people and there is a real bond between them and the charity.”
People can apply to volunteer on this year’s trip until March 17. Contact the volunteer team on 01782 600443 or email [email protected] for more information.