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Your Champions: Miles of Smiles nominated as Team of the Year

A HARD-WORKING and dedicated team of volunteers who help disadvantaged children have been nominated for a Trinity Mirror/ ScottishPower Your Champions award.

The Miles of Smiles committee fundraises all year and runs annual trips to Disneyland Paris and Lapland, for disadvantaged, sick and disabled children from Flintshire and North West England, along with their parents and carers.

The team, which needs to raise about £40,000 a year for each trip, has been nominated by Jayne Peers of Buckley.

“I would like to nominate Miles of Smiles because I think they do a fantastic job,” she said.

“They bring a lot of happiness to a lot of people and deserve some recognition, although they don't expect any.

“The trips take a lot of organising and all of this takes up a lot of personal time.

“This charity has been running for 18 years and has given a lot of children and their parents the holiday of a lifetime.”

There are six members of the committee: Gary Horton, Mike Hughes, Brian Peers, Emma White, Lynsey Bennett and Jackie Speed, who all say that, despite putting in untold hours of work, seeing the happy faces of the children makes it all worth it.

“We just returned from our latest trip to Disneyland,” said Brian.

“The children had a fantastic time, they said they felt like they were treated like royalty – and you can’t get much better than that!”

The committee members, some of whom have been volunteering since the Chronicle-backed charity formed 18 years ago in Chester, say they are always looking for more volunteers and help with fundraising.

“We’d like to get more young people interested,” added Brian.

“But I don’t think I’ll ever retire. Seeing the happiness on the children’s faces keeps me young.

“We’re all very proud of our work.”