Latest News | 3 March 2022

Children’s charity to give youngsters first holiday in two years

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Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre is set to give disadvantaged youngsters their first holiday since the start of the pandemic.

Due to Covid-19, the charity’s holiday centre in Skegness, on the Lincolnshire coast, has not been able to host youngsters from Derbyshire for the past two years.

The charity has now announced it is opening up children’s holidays again, and a group of 14 primary aged youngsters will be travelling by bus to the centre on Monday to spend five days by the sea.

This will be the first time the charity’s specialist centre, known affectionately as the ‘Skeggy home’, is opening to give disadvantaged children a holiday since March 2020.

The charity, which celebrated its 130th anniversary last year, normally pays for more than 600 children a year to enjoy a seaside holiday.

Youngsters are nominated from homes where there is significant hardship of one type or another, and it is felt they might not otherwise get a holiday at all.

Chairman Alan Grimadell said: “It’s been a long time that the Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre has not been able to perform the role that we are known for – providing seaside breaks for children who badly need them.

“Covid has been a difficult period for everyone and particularly for children who usually so look forward to spending a week with us at our centre in Skegness.

“For many of them, it’s the only holiday they get so we’ve been desperate to re-open for them when the time is right.

“I’m so delighted that the first bus-load of happy children will be travelling from central Derby to Skegness for the week.

“We are looking forward to opening up our centre for the whole season this year so hundreds of children can once again enjoy the simple pleasures of a week by the sea: making sandcastles, jumping the waves – these are the things that they sorely need, and our charity is there to give them that carefree time.”

The Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre was set up in 1891 by friends Harry Sykes and Arnold Bemrose.

Ali Byerley, manager of the Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre in Skegness, said: “It’s so lovely that we can welcome children again to have the holidays they so need.

“Even though we’ve been closed for two years, local businesses have not forgotten us.

“I can’t really put into words how much I’m looking forward to them coming back. It’s about children having fun. That’s what it’s all about. This house is just a house but with children in it, it’s a home.”

The Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre is seeking donations to support its work.

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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