Dream Lapland trip for disabled Midlothian children turns into a nightmare

The two disabled children from Midlothian have been unable to make the most of their trip to Lapland in Finland.
The two disabled children from Midlothian have been unable to make the most of their trip to Lapland in Finland.

Two disabled children on a dream Christmas trip to Lapland have been left stranded in their cabin after an issue with their travel company.

Louise Gough, manager of Bright Sparks additional support needs charity in Bonnyrigg, took her 15-year-old daughter Samantha and another disabled child to the home of Santa in Finland on Sunday for what was supposed to be the week of their lives.

However, it quickly became clear that assurances made by travel company Inghams would not be met and Louise claims they have been stranded in their cabins unable to make the most of the holiday.

Louise said: “They are unwilling to rectify there errors in the resort even after lengthy phone conversations of our requirements before booking, reassurance was given that reps in the resort would be able to assist to make a trip of a lifetime experience.

“Inghams in-resort manager was previously willing to find solutions which head office UK won’t agree to cover the additional cost. Which leaves us no alternatives to remain stranded.

“Their activities are now limited to snowballs in our yard even though it is made difficult due to lack of snow and fetching logs from the shed in the cabin garden.”

A spokeswoman for Inghams said: “We’re very sorry to hear that the party is dissatisfied as we know how much this holiday means to them. Our experienced resort manager has been working with them to deal with their concerns, including offering gestures of goodwill – such as a contribution towards taxi costs and free entrance to local swimming pools and a petting zoo – which the guests have accepted.

“Ms Gough booked her holiday via a travel agent and we have been in regular correspondence with her, both directly and via her travel agent, through the booking process and in the lead-up to their departure. This was to ensure they had full knowledge of the facilities available to them, as well as the potential challenges, as these cabins are, by their nature, more isolated and not part of a bigger complex. Approximate distances from the cabin were provided prior to travel and our resort manager personally selected their cabin as we know how important it is to them to be as close as possible to the supermarket and resort centre, as well as the pick-up points for excursions.

“Our team is continuing to do their utmost to assist them during their stay.”