Latest News | 6 April 2022

Youngsters help holiday charity brighten children’s smiles

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A pair of five-year-olds have inspired Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre to launch an appeal to put an even brighter smile on the faces of children it provides holidays to by asking for donations of toothbrushes.

The charity, which gives five-day seaside breaks in Skegness to youngsters from the county, has been wowed by the efforts of some of its youngest supporters: five-year-old friends Jenson Breffitt and Emily Smith.

They saved up their 1ps and 2ps to help buy 13 brand new toothbrushes for use by children going on trips at the holiday centre.

Donations of new toothbrushes are particularly valued at the centre as sometimes children arrive without a suitable means of cleaning their teeth.

After being closed for two years due to Covid restrictions, the centre started welcoming youngsters back last month.

Children are nominated to go on a seaside break if they are deemed to be in a situation which means they might otherwise not get a holiday at all – either through financial hardship or another reason.

While the centre was closed, volunteers looked to come up with different ways of raising cash as many of their usual events have not been able to take place.

Emily and Jenson asked to donate their 1ps and 2ps to support fundraising efforts for the centre, for which Jenson’s mum Michelle is a volunteer.

Emily’s mum Lisa Smith, a secondary school teacher, said her daughter had saved up the change when buying treats with her pocket money.

Centre manager Ali Byerley said: “We really appreciate donations of toothbrushes.

“Sometimes children who come don’t bring one, and sometimes they bring one that needs replacing.

“Here at the centre, we will always replace toothbrushes and things like that for the children who come.”

The charity is now asking if anyone else would like to donate toothbrushes.

Alan Grimadell, chair of the Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre, said: “It’s so kind of Emily and Jenson to think of donating their 1ps and 2ps to us at such a young age. We really appreciate their generosity!

“We want children who come on holiday with us to have the best time possible.

“That includes ensuring they have all they need to make sure we can look after them while they are with us. A toothbrush is such a simple thing.

“Over the last two years it has been tough for our hard-working volunteers to come up with fresh ways of fundraising.

“If we can make sure our centre has good stocks of things like new toothbrushes and, when the weather warms up, sun cream, it means that money we raise can be put towards ensuring as many children as possible get to benefit from the service we offer.”

To donate toothbrushes e-mail Michelle on

Alternatively, to donate to the charity, 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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