The Leonard family from Offaly pictured in Center Parcs.

Offaly family enjoys Winter Wonderland trip as part of new Center Parcs partnership

An Offaly family has enjoyed a magical trip to Center Parcs as part of a new charity partership between the holiday resort and LauraLynn, Ireland’s children’s hospice.

LauraLynn is Ireland’s only children’s hospice providing palliative, hospice care and support for children with life-limiting conditions and their families. The team provides a range of services including, symptom management for children, music and play therapy, psychological support, family and sibling camps, short breaks, crisis care and end-of-life care.

The initial two-year partnership will see colleagues at Center Parcs Longford Forest raising much-needed funds through various charity and fundraising events and donations, as well as offering breaks for families of LauraLynn so they can make the most of special moments together.

As part of the new partnership, the Leonard family from Tullamore in Offaly – who LauraLynn has supported for almost two years - were given the opportunity to visit Longford Forest, near Ballymahon, and take full advantage of Winter Wonderland, which opened to guests this week.

Melissa and Colm Leonard were referred to LauraLynn as their six-year-old daughter Nova has an advanced heart and lung condition. Nova has benefited from LauraLynn’s hospice care, along with her family, and visits on respite breaks where she enjoys music therapy, arts and crafts, and spends time playing in the sensory playground.

Nova Leonard enjoying Winter Wonderland in Center Parcs.

Thanking Center Parcs, Melissa said: “Colm, Nova and I have had the most amazing stay at Center Parcs over the last two days. This is truly a magical place and Nova has enjoyed every second. The team really take time to plan your stay based on your goals and that’s exactly how the LauraLynn team approach stays at LauraLynn as well.

“We have made memories to last a lifetime here at Center Parcs, from meeting Santa, exploring the magic of Winter Wonderland to splashing around in the Subtropical Swimming Paradise, it has been truly unforgettable."

Kerry McLaverty, LauraLynn CEO, added that they are "absolutely thrilled" to announce the new partnership with Center Parcs.

"At LauraLynn we strive every day to enable families to spend time together, making special memories to last a lifetime and that is exactly what Center Parcs does for families when they stay at Longford Forest.

“Center Parcs embodies LauraLynn's core values of compassion, collaboration and excellence. We are so excited to commence this wonderful partnership with the Center Parcs team, and I would like to thank them for the opportunity to be their charity partner. The funds and awareness raised through this partnership will help us to continue to care and support children with life-limiting conditions and their families across Ireland.”

Daragh Feighery, Village Director at Longford Forest, said their ethos of bringing families together is perfectly aligned with the values of LauraLynn, who work to help children and families make the most of special moments together by providing care and support.

"We look forward to the partnership getting underway and supporting them in every way we can over the next two years.”