Well it is time for my long overdue newsletter, as you all know I have been very busy with the organising of the THHN 1st Birthday Charity Ball which took place on the 21st of August at the Riviera International Conference Centre in Torquay. The event was an incredible success and was even more successful than I could have ever imagined! A huge thank you to Stagecoach South West for being the main sponsor of the event and huge thanks to our other sponsors Babbacombe Garage, Caterfood, Pavey Group, Babbacombe Theatre and Barnes Coaches without your support the event would not have got off the ground!
There really is so many people to thank, the event ran like clockwork we had 435 guests attend, some of our THHN families & VIP’s arrived on an open top bus organised by Stagecoach, all 9 acts of entertainment excelled themselves, the food and service offered by the Riviera Centre was outstanding and we gave away over 100 prizes on the night. The night was topped off with amazing and moving speeches being delivered from 14yr old Molly Jones and Rachael Olley from NACCPO.
Without the last minute help of Sam’s Balloons we would not have had the arena looking quite as amazing as it did, they very kindly donated their time to inflate all of our balloons and over see the decoration of the arena so more thanks goes out in their direction. Special thanks goes out to Bryony Boyce of Bryony’s Bakery who very kindly made an amazing 4 tiered birthday cake for the THHN which not only looked incredible but tasted incredible too! Thank you to all of the Plymouth Calendar girls for giving up their spare time to come along and help run the events raffle and auction, their help was invaluable to me on the night! Thank you to Lucy at Funk It Designs for designing and producing all of the table name cards free of charge. Special thanks must go to Palm 105.5 FM for producing and airing an advert for the event free of charge, a huge contribution towards the success of the event. Not forgetting to thank the THHN’s official photographer and all round great guy Dougie Worthington of Peacock Dreams Photography who gave up his evening to work very hard in taking photo’s all night long in return for donations, if any of you would like to buy pictures of the event you can contact Dougie through his website www.peacockdreamsphotography.com all money will be donated to the final amount raised on the night.
Special thanks too goes to our guests of honour Gary & Claire Eastwood and Len & Barbara Curtis from Donna’s Dream House for travelling down from Kent and Blackpool to attend the event. Gary made an amazing gesture of generosity by winning 2 return flights to New York by placing a bid of £1500.00 in the auction and then donating the money and putting the flights back in for re-auction where they raised a further £900.00.
I would like to thank each and every person who played their part in helping the ball become a success from the bottom of my heart, collectively we managed to raise just over £17,000.00 on the night!! I do not have the official final figure yet but all of the money will be split between the Hannah Louise Jones Umbrella Fund of the Samantha Dickson Brain Tumour Trust and NACCPO as soon as all the invoices and paperwork is tied up.
My list of thank you’s now moves away from the ball and on to the Babbacombe Model Village who have very kindly re branded their wishing well for the THHN with a beautiful new sign very kindly made and donated by Ansell & Porosa signmakers. The Model Village has donated over £90,000.00 to charity since it opened in 1963 and they continue to do so, they will very kindly be donating £500.00 to the THHN to help maintain and run our new website which is due to be launched very soon.
I would like to thank Readers Digest for running a feature on the THHN in July’s issue, Herald Express for continuing to keep people up to date with our progress and ITV Westcountry Tonight for running another feature on us last week, the media’s support is vital for helping to get us new members to support the THHN. Thanks to the story in Readers Digest we now have September Tide self catering holiday cottage offering holidays in south Wales and a new accommodation provider in the New Forest. The story on ITV last week prompted Julie Tottle to get in touch and offer holidays in her static caravan on a holiday camp in Exmouth, so thank you to all of the media who continue to support us and a big thank you to our new accommodation providers!
We are now working with a new charity who will be offering families THHN holidays and I would like to officially welcome the Christian Lewis Trust who will be sending their first family on a THHN holiday this October to stay with Maureen at the Westbrook Hotel in Torquay.
Faiths Beach Hut has been a huge hit with THHN families in its first month of operation, the hut looks amazing and is fully kitted out with everything that you could possibly need for a fun family day out at the beach!
Now on to the holidays, the THHN has given away 13 holidays since the last newsletter thanks to the kindness of our accommodation providing members. The first holiday was provided by Andrew & Janet at the Glenross Hotel in Torquay where they provided a 6 night break for a family who have a child suffering from a brain tumour, the family were referred by the charity PASIC. The family had an amazing holiday under Janet & Andrews incredible hospitality as always!
The second Holiday was provided ourselves here at the Hotel De La Mer where we had a bereaved family stay with us for a 7 night break, they were referred by East Anglia Childrens Hospice. The family had a fantastic time and we were very sad to see them leave!
The third holiday was provided by Eve, a new accommodation provider at the Rutland Hotel in Torquay where they were offering a 7 night break to a family with a child suffering from a brain tumour, they were referred by the Bristol branch of CLIC Sargent. Sadly the family only managed to enjoy 1 day of their holiday before they had to return home due to the child’s poor health, which was a great shame.
The fourth holiday was provided by Andrew & Janet at the Glenross Hotel again, this time offering a 7 night break to a family who have a child suffering from a brain tumour who were referred by the charity PASIC. The family had an incredible time and again enjoying Andrew & Janet’s hospitality.
The fifth holiday was provided by ourselves at the Hotel De La Mer where we had a family who have a child suffering from Hodgkins Lymphoma stay with us for a 7 night break and they were referred from the Plymouth CLIC Sargent team. The family had a fab time and as usual we were very sad to see them leave.
The sixth holiday was provided by Derek & Wendy Smith of the Marine Hotel in Paignton where they offered a 7 night break to a bereaved family who were referred by the charity CRUSE. The family had a lovely time and were well looked after by managers Nicola, Paul and their team of staff.
The seventh holiday was provided by ourselves at the Hotel De La Mer where we had a bereaved family stay with us for a 7 night break who were referred by the charity NACCPO, the family were very recently bereaved and showed such courage to enjoy their time away.
The eighth holiday was again provided by ourselves at the Hotel De La Mer where we had a large family who have a child who suffered from Leukaemia as a toddler and now has 2 brain tumours stay with us for a 7 night break. The family was referred by the Bristol CLIC Sargent team and they had a great time enjoying some rare time together as a whole family.
The ninth holiday was provided by Steve at the Ashley Court Hotel in Torquay where he offered a 7 night break to a family who have a child suffering from a brain tumour, they were referred by the charity PASIC and had a brilliant time and said that Steve and his staff made them feel like family! The family also attended the THHN charity ball as our guests.
The tenth and eleventh holiday’s were provided by Geoff at the Buckfast Abbey’s self catering holiday home Avalia House where two families who both have children suffering from brain tumours shared the house for a long weekend in order to attend the THHN charity ball. Both families had an incredible time and really enjoyed the party, one family was referred by the charity PASIC and the other from NACCPO.
The twelfth holiday was again provided by one of our most frequent accommodation providers Andrew & Janet at the Glenross Hotel in Torquay where they offered a 4 night break to a mother and daughter where the daughter is suffering from a cell tumour, they were referred from the Bristol CLIC Sargent team. As usual the they had a great time and enjoyed Andrew & Janet’s amazing hospitality!
The thirteenth and final holiday which brings us all up to date was provided by ourselves at the Hotel De La Mer where we offered a 7 night bereaved family who also have a child suffering from Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and many other complicated medical issues, they were referred from Blackpool social services. They really did have an incredible time and again managed to gain some real quality time together and we were as usual very sad to see them leave.
We have now collectively given away over 90 free holidays to deserving families who really need some quality time together as a family and come 2011 we will be well over the 100 mark!!
A massive thank you to all of our members without your support the THHN would not exist, I really can not thank each and every one of you enough for your support, we really are making a huge difference to families lives by giving people holidays they will always remember and treasure. I would like to pay huge thanks to all of our members who are not accommodation providers who offer free services week in and week out like our tourist attraction members and eateries there really are far too many for me to thank individually but your support is invaluable and so very much appreciated!
If any of you would like to display the fact you are a THHN member you can order your individual THHN members plaque, they cost £26.25p plus vat, they are circular with a 12″ diameter and look great! You can also download artwork from our current website by clicking this link. If you have any questions please do not hesitate in contacting me.
If any of you know of businesses who may be interested in joining or helping the THHN please do pass my details on to them as I would be only too happy to speak with them.
As I say every month we continue to grow and continue to help even more families, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your continued support!
Best wishes & thanks