Caravan joy for Dream-A-Way thanks to efforts of Sidmouth group
- Credit: Archant
Former Formula One champion Nigel Mansell flew in to open new holiday home
People with physical and learning difficulties can share the joy of a seaside holiday thanks to the fundraising efforts of a Sidmouth group.
Former Formula One champion Nigel Mansell is president of Devon-based charity Dream-A-Way and flew down to officially open a new £25,000 specially adapted caravan at Devon Cliffs Holiday Park, in Exmouth, on Saturday, May 7.
The static holiday home will be used to give 40 people with disabilities - and their families - a break away that they would not otherwise be able to enjoy.
The purchase was possible because of the hard work and incredible success of Mike Rock’s Sidmouth fundraising group – that collected £30,000 in its first 12 months last year alone and is not stopping there.
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Mike said: “We bought our first caravan with the money we raised in our first year. The caravan’s life span is ten years so we will be providing 400 holidays. It’s a six-berth caravan that is specially adapted. It gives people the chance to have a holiday like this that they would not normally be able to do as most caravans are just not disabled friendly.”
The Sidmouth group was founded specifically to help Dream-A-Way and a large chunk of the money is raised through recycling waste paper across East Devon. The total amount it has raised is now up to £40,000.
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Mike added: “We are fund raising again this year so we hope to buy another one at Ladram Bay next year.
“Dream-A-Way already has nine caravans used to give holidays to families. In its 22 years, the charity has raised £2million overall and we are giving our 10,000th holiday this year, which is unbelievable really.”
An unsuspecting Sidmouth landlord also turned out for the opening only to be presented with a certificate making him an ambassador for the cause that he has supported for several years.
Tom Webb, who runs The Bowd Inn and The Halfway Inn, on the Sidmouth Road, has held a series of fundraising events to help Dream-A-Way - a charity that aims to assist people with learning and physical difficulties.
He said: “They made me an ambassador, which was unexpected and very sweet. I just went over to support them. Dream-A-Way is great. I have a lot of respect for what they do and it’s a great cause.”
The Bowd is currently raising money with a Dream-A-Way dessert – of which £1 from every one sold is donated to the charity.