THIRTY-NINE schoolchildren, accompanied by 13 of their teachers and carers, had the time of their lives at the Viva España Restaurant in Oliva, courtesy of the Grant A Wish charity.
The children aged between six and 14-years-old, from the Preventorio Infantil Ntra Sra Del Amparo in Gandia, were brought by coach for their lunchtime treat wearing their new blue t-shirts and trainers that had also been provided by the people who generously support Grant A Wish.
They were all greeted by the enthusiastic Ramon Howard and the team of volunteers, and hugged like members of the family.
‘Dreams can come true’ is the phrase often used to promote the charity and for many of the children the dream of enjoying a restaurant and a spectacular flamenco cabaret, performed by Anna and Borja, for possibly the first time ever was fulfilled.
As the children tucked into a three-course Spanish meal of salad, paella and the ever-present ice cream, fundraisers Ramon Howard and Noelle Vickers exclusively told the RTN about the work they do and why this particular school often benefits from Grant A Wish.
“These children perhaps come from families where their parents struggle to cope in many ways, which have financial issues or relationship problems.
They live in the school during the week and return home at the weekends,” explained Ramon.
Noelle Vickers, who runs the principal fundraising centre in Javea, said that their outlet is not the usual charity shop.
“We call it a boutique as we’re proud to have many top quality items for sale, ranging from clothes to original pieces of artwork.
We just need more people to visit us and we’re always looking for volunteers.”
Director of the school, Maria Jose, said that “the children will never forget this day,” and she should be very proud of her charges.
Everyone commented on how well they behaved throughout their three-hour treat, being a credit to themselves and to their teachers.
The afternoon ended with all the children, teachers and the Grant A Wish volunteers on the dance floor and having their photographs taken with the professional dancers.
The whole experience was a very humbling one, and everyone connected with Grant A Wish was left with more than a tear in the eye as many of the children came over as they left to simply say ‘thank you.’
Anyone wishing more details of the Grant A Wish charity can log on to www.wegrantawish.com or call Ramon Howard on 965 008 816.