Tuesday, 5 March 2024
Tuesday, 5 March 2024

Businesses thanked after 360 Derbyshire children enjoy charity’s holidays in 2023

LEADERS of a much-loved charity have warmly thanked local businesses for helping give hundreds of Derbyshire children a wonderful holiday by the sea in 2023.

The Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre will be closing for the season at the end of this October having given 360 children from the county a five-day seaside stay this year.

The centre on Scarborough Road in Skegness is open from March to October each year and children are nominated to stay there if they come from households in Derbyshire where they may not otherwise get a break, for financial hardship or other reasons.

Alan Grimadell, the charity’s chairman, warmly thanked four Derbyshire organisations which are supporting the Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre for a year: Vauxhall Pentagon in Derby; Co-Treetment; Breadsall Priory Golf Club and Cosmo Restaurant, along with other generous supporters such as EEM and Rotheras Solicitors LLP.

Centre manager Ali Byerley also said she was extremely grateful to all the local businesses and individuals in Skegness who with their generous support help children have a great time.

These include Fantasy Island and Butlins which provide a free day out, along with support from Skegness Swimming Pool and the Aquarium.

Along with that, many individuals simply arrive at the holiday centre’s door with gifts, clothes, sweets and other treats for children – and Ali said she was enormously grateful to all of them. A local church organisation has also provided the centre this year with a large amount of ham, enough for the whole season.

Children who come to the holiday centre each year are given exciting days out including trips to the sea – which some have never seen before – a day out at the swimming baths, trips to Butlins and Fantasy Island and the local cinema. The centre itself is kitted out with a games room and lots of toys for children to enjoy.

Children, who attend schools all over Derby and Derbyshire, also sit down for regular meals to talk about their day and are not allowed to take gadgets with them so they can enjoy social experiences with others their own age. They sleep in specially themed bedrooms and the whole centre is specifically geared up to give them a great time.

Businesses thanked after 360 Derbyshire children enjoy charity's holidays in 2023
Centre manager Ali Byerley and the centre in Skegness.

Ali said:

“We’ve had lots of fun, lots of laughter this year! You can certainly still see that there is a need for the Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre. We’ve kitted some children out with new clothes and shoes. I’ve taken some for haircuts and to the dentist.

“With the cost of living our food budget has gone up enormously – food has really got seriously expensive. I have also noticed some of them in the morning will maybe eat four or five bowls of cereal.

“My main aim when children get to me is that they know this is their holiday. My team and I try to maintain that sense of wonderment week after week. Some of them who haven’t seen the sea before will say: ‘How big is it?’ and ‘Where does it end?’”

Charity chairman Alan Grimadell said:

“It’s been another wonderful year for us at the Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre. It’s great to think that we have put smiles on the faces of another 360 children this year and we’re so grateful to everyone who helps make that happen, from our tireless group of volunteers to our staff members to all the generous people who donate to our charity. Many people involved with our charity went themselves as children. Their happy memories make them want to keep on helping us today. We so appreciate businesses which are so generous with their support.

“Our charity’s purpose has not changed since it first started 132 years ago. We are here to provide seaside stays to children who may not otherwise get a holiday. In one way it is sad that need still remains but for as long as it does, we hope the holiday centre will still be there to fulfil it.”

The Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre is open between March and October and it also runs a special Christmas week for children chosen because centre staff feel they may particularly benefit from a festive treat.

To find out more about the Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre and how you can support it, please visit: www.dchc.org.uk/. With a million people living in Derbyshire, the charity’s plea is for people to be ‘One in a Million’, donating £4 a month by texting DCHCMILLION to 70085.

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