GENEROUS donations by hair salons saw a little boy experience a once-in-a-lifetime dream trip to Disney World.
Finlay Lyons and his family spent 10 days in Orlando, Florida, thanks to the Hair OTT salons across Portsmouth and the surrounding area.
Staff managed to raise thousands of pounds to send Finlay, who has cerebral palsy and is in a wheelchair, to the Magic Kingdom.
As previously reported in The News the youngster’s grandma Barb Horsfall works as a receptionist at the Hair OTT salon in Waterlooville and told the staff about his battle with disability.
Over the past 12 months, the salons have organised a series of fundraisers and Finlay went on his dream trip at the end of October.
The eight-year-old said: ‘It was amazing. We saw all the Disney characters at Magic Kingdom and Mickey Mouse was my favourite.
‘He was talking to me and I got his autograph and a picture too.
‘I really liked the rides and I wanted to stay there forever.’
The Lyons family, from Horndean, went to Disney World over Halloween and Finlay dressed as Batman for the Hocus Pocus Show.
He added: ‘I loved the show and all the Halloween decorations.’
To help raise money for the dream holiday the Hair OTT salons in Waterlooville, North End, 1000 Lakeside at North Harbour, Cosham and Whiteley organised dress-up days, cake sales, raffles and a sponsored walk.
Bernie Aranibar, who has been organising the fundraisers, said they hoped to raise as much as possible.
‘Now the family have been on the holiday and told us all about it, we know the hard work of fundraising was worth it,’ she said.
‘It has been really nice hearing Finlay talk about the trip, it is a great achievement.’
Finlay’s mum Carly said she was so grateful to the salon team and to salon owner Otto who thought up the idea.
She said: ‘We weren’t even planning the trip, it was something Otto suggested and started fundraising for.
‘This was a once-in-a-lifetime trip for Finlay and something we would not have been able to afford ourselves.
‘We are so thankful to all the people who donated too and showed their support. It is just amazing.’