PC David Bald never gets to spend Yuletide with his parents, brother or nephews in Scotland because of his work commitments with Thames Valley Police.
So last year his wife Sandra entered a competition run by National Express to arrange surprise festive reunions for ‘long distance families’.
Her winning entry saw 10 members of David’s family given free travel to meet up at the Woodside Hotel in Aberdour, Scotland.
David, 52, and Sandra, 54, travelled by coach from their home in Milton Keynes, while the rest of his family travelled the short distance from Edinburgh.
The dedicated policeman’s 14-year-old daughter, Alexandra, who has Down’s syndrome, was given a special chance to see her grandparents, uncle and cousins.
Sandra said: “It has been such a long time since we have all been together under one roof.
“With David’s work it is tough to arrange a time to make the journey, so it was really a lovely surprise to find out we had been selected.
“It has been wonderful to catch up again and for Alexandra to have an opportunity to see her cousins.
“Hopefully it won’t be another three-and-a-half years until we see each other the next time.”
National Express arranged all travel for the Bald family and their trip to Aberdour, and funded their festive get-together at the hotel.
A spokesperson for National Express said: “We understand that life often takes us far away from home, and can separate us from our hometowns and family.
“Christmas is a time for friends and family, but for some it’s a real challenge to bring the entire clan together.
“We are delighted we were able to give the Bald family this small gift to make their Christmas a little bit more special.”