This is the heart-warming moment one little girl had her Christmas wish come true thanks to National Express
Aspiring performer, Annabella from Chesterfield, was selected as the winner of a nationwide competition by the UK’s largest coach operator to have her dream Christmas moment made into a reality.
Her festive wish was to visit London with her family and watch a professional show on the West End.
But the efforts of the organisers at National Express took her dream one step further and brought Annabella from the audience to the stage.
Annabella, 11, who has dyslexia and an ambition to study the violin at the Royal College of Music, was treated to an all-expenses-paid trip to London from Sheffield to make her wish come true.
The family spent their weekend in London seeing the sights via a River Thames cruise, shopping and enjoying a spot of ice skating, taking snaps along the way.
But unbeknown to Annabella, the London visit was just the start of her Christmas wish, as mum Helen surprised her with tickets to see The Snowman in Westminster.
At the show, a delighted Anabella was surprised once again when the stars of The Snowman invited her on-stage in front of the crowd for an unforgettable moment, and her first taste of what it is like to be part of a major production.
Annabella was able to meet the whole cast, including The Snowman and Santa.
On stage, she discussed her dreams of being a musician with Santa and even got to play some of the instruments used by the show’s accompanying orchestra.
Annabella’s mum, Helen Dennison, entered her daughter’s wish into the competition with National Express in the autumn and was selected from nearly a thousand entrants.
Helen said: “My daughter works incredibly hard and has to put in extra effort in everything she does. She plays the violin and works her socks off both in and out of school to be the best she can be.
“She deserves a special moment with her family. She cares deeply about others and is hoping to use her talent to perform in charity concerts in the future.
“The whole weekend was a dream come true for Annabella. She’s a very special girl with a huge heart who cares for everyone.”
National Express funded the trip to London for the Dennison family and arranged the amazing moment on-stage for Annabella at the Peacock Theatre.
Chris Hardy, Managing Director of National Express Coach, said: “We run services every day of the festive season, bringing hundreds of thousands of people together to share those special Christmas moments.
"It was wonderful to receive so many entries to our competition and a real challenge to choose just one.
“We were so happy to be able to make Annabella's Christmas wish come true and are thrilled to see that she and her family had a great weekend courtesy of National Express."
Birmingham Repertory Theatre’s production of The Snowman is running at The Peacock until 5th January.
You can view a film about her experience here: https://vimeo.com/380015338