As some of you may know, we at Crusader Travel play a large role in the running of the Twickenham Town Business Association. Each year the Association stages the Twickenham Festival, and as part of the festivities, we donate a raffle prize of a self-catering holiday to Sicily and this year the charities that benefited from the raffle were Street Invest and Together as One.

For 2016’s Twickenham Festival, held in July, we provided a holiday to Sicily for up to four people, including flights, car hire and a villa for one week. And this year’s winner of the prize has an interesting story we wanted to share with you….

At the Festival a lady called Iris Skinner bought a raffle ticket – and it was her ticket that was drawn by our local vicar Jeff Hopkins-Williams. Lucky Iris you might think, but sadly Iris hasn’t always been lucky. At 22 and almost at the end of pregnancy, she fell ill. When she gave birth she was told her illness was meningitis, but eventually she was correctly diagnosed with Polio and experienced limited mobility issues ever since and now gets around with the help of a buggy.

Because of her condition she had never traveled abroad – in fact, she didn’t even have a passport. So we thought the best solution would be to offer to change the holiday to a fabulous domestic break. But Iris insisted she would definitely like to travel abroad for the first time in her life!

Helped by her daughter, Age UK, and her friend Jacqueline Frye, we made it our mission to ensure this was going to be a memorable holiday for her and everything would work like clock-work!

Shona, in our team, made arrangements for all kinds of assisted mobility requirements to be met regarding the airline, the car hire and also the accommodation. At first she didn’t have anyone to accompany her, so Jacqueline and her husband became her travel companions.

And they had a fantastic time! Everything went to plan and they visited Erice, Cefalu, Segesta, Mozia, San Vito Lo Capo. Shona received a lovely postcard from Iris, thanking her for all her help and describing how she got to ‘wriggle my toes in the sand!’ and that ‘the Italians were very helpful getting me into buses, restaurants, the amphitheatre and a boat trip!”

It clearly seems that Iris has caught the traveling bug at 86-years-young! We hope to help her arrange her next holiday! She already tells us that we can’t wait to go again!