September 23 2014 Latest news:
Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Bronwen Lloyd is a typical teenager who has grown up watching the Australian soap Neighbours and never misses an episode.
The college student from Surlingham, near Norwich, is now set to feature on the small screen after achieving a lifetime dream of meeting the cast and crew of the hit show and becoming a Ramsay Street extra.
The 18-year-old, who has Cystic Fibrosis, went on the trip of a lifetime to Melbourne last month, thanks to the help of the Starlight Children’s Foundation - a charity that grants wishes to children with serious and terminal illnesses.
The City College Norwich student visited the Neighbours set where she met some of her favourite characters from the soap and got to play a coffee shop extra.
Bronwen, who was diagnosed with the genetic disorder, which affects her lungs, shortly after her birth, made the wish to Starlight last year.
The teenager, who is studying hair and beauty in Norwich, has never let her condition stand in her way and enjoys dancing, amateur dramatics, swimming and watching her favourite football team Millwall. However, nothing compares to a half hour watching her favourite programme, she said.
Bronwen said she had always wanted to visit the Neighbours set and was delighted when she received three special videos from Neighbours characters Susan Kennedy, Matt Turner and Sonya Mitchell, saying how much they were looking forward to meeting her.
The student and her parents Sally and Andy arrived in Melbourne on August 20 and stayed in an apartment on the city’s Southbank, which was booked by Starlight.
The team at Neighbours invited her to visit the set on August 22 where she received an exclusive set tour, which enabled her to visit all her favourite Neighbours locations and she also got to meet lots of her favourite characters, including Jarrod Rebecchi, Paul Robinson, Karl Kennedy and Mark Brennan.
She also had pictures taken by the official Neighbours photographer and as a special surprise she was pampered by the hair, make-up and costume departments and got to appear in a coffee shop scene as an extra.
Bronwen, who visited Melbourne Zoo and Melbourne Aquarium during her dream holiday, said it was “really exhilarating” to be part of the soap and it was fascinating to see how hard all the cast work.
She said: “They made my wish come true. I loved every second of the trip but especially meeting the cast, having my photo taken with them by a professional photographer and being pampered in hair and make up. It was the best holiday ever.”
Her mum added: “We had a fantastic afternoon at the Neighbours studio. Lots of the cast were there and Bron was treated like a star. The head of wardrobe gave her some clothes to keep and they made sure she could be clearly seen when she was an extra.
“Bronwen has always been a cheerful girl, who is incredibly loving. She has the ability to cheer others up even when she is going through the stresses that Cystic Fibrosis brings and we are extremely proud of her. She has always tried hard with her learning and even when on a course of intravenous antibiotics she takes part in activities.”
To refer a child for a wish or to make a donation, please go online at www.starlight.org.uk.