Souths Cares, United Airlines and Barnardos Australia have teamed up to spread the festive joy to 46 Barnardos children, as they were taken on a once in a lifetime fantasy flight to the North Pole.


The annual Flight of Fantasy took children from Barnardos centres across NSW from Sydney Airport to the North Pole (which doubled as Melbourne airport for this trip) on a United flight, where they were greeted by Santa Claus and his elves.


The flight was on a United 747, and went from Sydney to Melbourne Airports Gate 51.


The children spent the morning with Reggie Rabbit and the Sydney Kings' Lion, enjoying endless games and Christmas cheer.


NRL legend and Souths Cares ambassador, Rhys Wesser, was on hand sharing colourful and inspiring stories from his childhood, teaching the children to reach to the sky for their dreams.


Barnardos Australia is a non-government, non-denominational child protection charity, with a 130 year history of caring for children in Australia.


The organisation supports families and aims to keep children safe at home through foster care and adoption programs.


Souths Cares General Manager, Shannon Donato, said he welcomed the opportunity to join with United Airlines in providing this unique experience for Barnardos' young people.


Working in partnership with United Airlines and pooling our collective resources means that we can enhance the Fantasy Flight event to ensure all the children enjoy their experience, Mr Donato said.


Rhys, who is a former NRL player and State of Origin Fullback, spoke with the young children about achieving their dreams, maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle, and the importance of completing your education.


These inspirational messages are at the core of the programs and services Souths Cares provide to the community.


The South Sydney Rabbitohs mascot, Reggie Rabbit enjoyed his trip onboard the Flight and was very happy to catch up with the children and his old friend, the Sydney Kings Lion.


As well as his Game Day commitments, Reggie often visits sick children in hospital in an effort to cheer them up by distracting them from their illness, even if for a short time.


Souths Cares looks forward to strengthening its partnership with United Airlines in order to explore ways to work collaboratively for the betterment of the local community."


Chris Petty, United sales manager for Australia and New Zealand, said: It was a fantastic day for everyone.


"Its something we at United look forward to every year, as it adds a great festive note to the season and we are able to share the love of an in-flight experience with some lovely kids!


The children that participated in Flight of Fantasy were from centres in Penrith, Auburn, NSW South Coast, Sydney Metro and participate in the Find a Familyadoption program.


To check out a full presentation on the trip to the North Pole, please click here. Please note, the presentation file is approximately 6MB in size.