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As politicians from all sides argue about the complexities of organising trade deals across the globe, a Canadian teenager and a retired Edinburgh policeman are amongst a group of inspirational people who have demonstrated what can be done when everyone pulls together.

When 17-year-old Faith Dickinson learned of the annual FACE (Fighting Against Cancer in Edinburgh) trip to Lapland, she contacted the charity’s Convenor John Macaulay to offer her help.

At just nine-years old, Faith launched the charity Cuddles
for Cancer after her aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer. During her
treatment, Faith’s aunt told her how she got very cold, so she made her a
fleece blanket to provide comfort, warmth and love.

Faith believes that “everyone deserves a cuddle” and since
then more than 4,000 cuddle blankets have been made and they sent to more than
thirty countries around the world.

Recipients includes people suffering from other illnesses,
diseases, those grieving and a signature blanket for Canadian soldiers and
veterans returning home physically injured or suffering from PTSD.

John was delighted to accept Faith’s offer of cuddle
blankets for all the children flying to Lapland this weekend and he invited her
to join them however logistics meant that she was unable to attend.

Despite this, Faith worked with the British Consulate and British Airways to make this a reality and after getting the go-ahead she arranged for a dedicated group of volunteers to make all of the blankets and transport them to Pearson International Airport where they began their journey across the Atlantic.

This will be FACE’s 26th trip to see Santa for children
have been impacted directly or indirectly by cancer.

The trip involves a very early morning flight and a return
flight in the late evening.

The FACE team is a mix of medically trained volunteers to look after the children, and others who are there to make it a special day for them. The children can spend time with husky dogs & reindeer, play in the deep snow and of course meet Santa Claus.

On some trips the team have been lucky to see the Northern
Lights.

John told the Edinburgh Reporter: “Faith is a remarkable youngster
who is an inspiration to all.

“Her charity work resulted in her receiving a Diana Award at
a ceremony at St James’s Palace in London directly from Prince William and
Prince Harry and she also attended the Royal Wedding of Harry and Meghan Markle
last year.

“The good news is that the cuddle blankets have arrived in
Edinburgh and they will be taken to Lapland on that special visit to see Santa
Claus in Lapland on Sunday.

 “On behalf of FACE I’d
like to thank Faith and all her supporters including Jane, Peter, Emilee,
Tammy, Layton, Isabel and Mike for working tirelessly to make the cuddle blankets
plus Carrie, Barb and Brenda for packing everything up and Mike for driving to
Pearson International Airport to drop off all the boxes

“I’d also like to thank the UK Consul-General in Toronto
Kevin McGurgan and his two staff members Jessica & Jamil, Kelly McAuley
from British Airways and Nick from Global Baggage.

“I received a phone call last night from Santa who told me
that it’s snowy over in Lapland but he is confident that the flight will be
able to land although he is sending up his helpers in their sleigh to latch
onto the plane and guide it safely to the airport.

“What he doesn’t know is that I have an extra cuddle blanket
for him in addition to his customary signed Ian Rankin book which he gets every
year.”





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