Fred Olsen Travel helps dream come true for seven-year-old Alfie

Fred Olsen Travel’s concept store in Eastbourne has helped make a dream come true for seven-year-old cancer sufferer Alfie Lowdell.

Business development manager Trevor Ridler immediately contacted retail director Paul Hardwick when Alfie’s parents came into the store, based in The Beacon shopping centre, last September to book a family trip to Disneyland Paris.

Alfie was diagnosed in 2018, at the age of one, with a brain tumour which affects his development and eye sight. He has been through several rounds of chemotherapy.

Ridler said: “I asked Paul [Hardwick] if we could help and he said we could take care of the holiday balance. It’s so nice to be able to do something like this.”

The family paid the £1,077 deposit and were “shocked” to be told the agency would foot the remaining balance, more than £2,000, which has meant more of the funds raised could go to the Children With Cancer Fund in Polegate, east Sussex.

On Facebook, Alfie’s mum Meagan wrote: “We are absolutely thrilled and amazed by the generosity of all the wonderful people in this community and beyond for making this dream holiday happen. We can now make this a huge one to remember.”


A 42-mile motorcade fundraiser held last summer raised awareness of Alfie’s cause and drove past the shopping centre where the travel agency is based in Eastbourne.

Ridler then helped to organise a small party for Alfie’s family and friends in store with toys, balloons and food courtesy of The Beacon Shopping Centre, The Card Factory and Marks & Spencer.

Ridler, a former children’s entertainer with Haven Holidays and on cruise ships, helped the children create balloon models, including a sword for Alfie.

“Alfie had a fantastic time. There was about a dozen kids in the store and Alfie’s sister helped me with my balloon modelling routine,” said Ridler.

The family will travel with easyJet to Paris for the four night trip in March, and will stay at The Explorers hotel at Disneyland Paris. Parents Meagan and Robert are also taking Alfie’s brother and sister on the trip, which the agency booked direct with Disneyland Paris.


Share article

View Comments

Jacobs Media is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.