Day out at Disneyland for families of Manchester Arena bombing victims
Comedian John Bishop, Michelle Keegan and Mark Wright, and Hollyoaks stars joined the special charity flight to Paris.
Families of victims of the Manchester Arena bombing have been treated to a day out at Disneyland Paris.
Charlotte Hodgson, whose daughter Olivia Campbell-Hardy, 15, died in the terror attack on May 22, and husband Paul were among those who joined stars Michelle Keegan and Mark Wright, along with comedian John Bishop and cast members of Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks, for the day trip to the theme park.
The families flew out on the special early-morning British Airways charter flight from Manchester Airport on Tuesday.
Mrs Hodgson said: “I think it’s amazing, they’ve given us a little bit of cheer this year after such a hard year and so near to Christmas.”
Mr Hodgson said: “It’s helped the 22 families phenomenally.
“We’ve walked round, we’ve seen the families and we’ve seen the smiles and that is what this is all about.”
The couple said they felt that Olivia was with them for the day.
“She’s definitely been here with us today, you can tell,” Mrs Hodgson said.
“Just certain things we’ve seen and done, she’s been here.
“She’s got me on my first rollercoaster ride in about 20 years so she’s definitely here, laughing at me screaming.”
Also on the trip were Aleks and Patrycia Klis, aged 20 and 12, whose parents Angelika and Marcin Klis, from York, were both killed in the atrocity.
The sisters were joined by friend Megan Hewitson, who had been at the Ariana Grande concert with them at the Arena when the attack happened.
Aleks said the day had been “amazing”.
She said: “I think it’s extraordinary what they have done because we would never have expected anything like this.”
Wright and Keegan said Disneyland was one of their “favourite places”.
Wright said: “It’s a special thing to do, it’s putting light on something that was so negative and they’re just smiling away.
“It’s so incredible to see and so incredible to be able to be part of something that just gives something back. This is the perfect place because everybody just smiles and it’s just a magical place.”
Bishop, who joined families on the flight from Manchester, said: “The strength of character that they’ve all shown is beyond I think what anyone could possibly expect and so for BA to put this together with Comic Relief and Disney is, I suppose, just a little thing in a long journey for them but it’s a positive thing.”
The trip was part of British Airways’ celebrations to mark the airline reaching a landmark £17 million raised for Flying Start, its global charity partnership with Comic Relief, since 2010.
The money has helped Comic Relief fund projects in the UK and around the world, including the Youth Factory Zone in Manchester which sent 10 youngsters on the trip.