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July 2011 Newsletter

PostedFriday, 1st July, 2011
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Well it is time to update you on all of the THHN’s goings on and usual that is a lot of activity!

I will begin with “Hanbury’s Fish & Chips on the Downs Music Festival” that took place on Sunday 19th June on Babbacombe Downs. The event was as usual really well attended and had the best entertainment line up to date with appearances from incredible south west talents Three Bags Full, Drew Millan & Cahoots, Samba Jam, The Days and Dave Can’t Dance to name but a few! The entertainment ran from 12.00pm right through to 10.20pm non stop! Big thanks also to magician Peter Baffles who came along to work the tables with his amazing brand of magic.

The main objective of the day was to raise money and awareness for some great local charities, the main bulk of the funds going to Rowcroft Hospice, the proceeds of the auction going to Childrens Hospice South West, huge thanks to all of you who were kind enough to donate prizes and raising awareness for THHN. The official figure raised is yet to be released but I know it stands at over £10,000.00!! So huge pat on the back to Dave Hanbury and all involved with the event especially local business man Martin Strange who puts a huge amount in to the event.

My main goal of the day of raising THHN awareness took a back seat for a much more important job of trying to save lives by setting up a last minute bone marrow donor recruitment clinic with the Anthony Nolan. Inspired by my good friend Alice Pyne who is terminally ill with Hodgkins lymphoma and has made it her wish to sign up as many people as possible to the bone marrow donor register. Sadly we only managed to encourage 30 people out of a few thousand people who crossed the downs that day to join on the but huge thanks to my little clan of helpers who came along to give it our best shot. On a positive 30 is better than none and we spread the word and you never know one of those 30 may save a life!

Alice met with the Prime Minister along with Anthony Nolan representatives at Downing Street last week to discuss ways in which they can encourage more people to join the register. Anthony Nolan was named after a boy who died, aged eight, from a rare blood disorder in 1979. It was the first bone marrow register in the world and the charity has now helped me send materials to MPs across the country asking them to help reach the target of 10,000 new donors by October.

The ideal donors are most likely to be men aged between 18 and 30 years of age.

Many MP’s are taking up the challenge which asks individuals to find 10 young men to join the register. Have a think about the people in your life – your relatives, colleagues or friends – and if you would like to help you can sign up at Or, if you are a young man yourself, you could be one of my 10.Go to to and use the code F3EM when prompted.

I have more recruitment clinics planned so watch this space………..I have not given up!

Fund raising has been great of late, THHN is currently going through registration with the charities commission and we aim to help even more families by operating a grant service to families to cover their travelling expenses to their holiday destinations. This is due to the sad fact that many families in great need of a holiday together to build up precious memories simply cannot afford the travelling cost of getting the whole family down to their holiday destination.

We received the funds from the “Pavey Group Golf Day” where Pavey director Paul Smale presented me with a cheque for £4,500.00, this is a massive amount of money and will go directly in to helping families in need as no wages are drawn to run THHN and never will be! I really cannot thank Paul Smale and Pavey Group enough, they have been there from very the start with an open offer of support to the THHN and continue to do so.

I am thrilled to say that THHN has been named as Torquay fire stations Blue Watch charity for 2012, which again is massive for us! A massive thank you to all on Blue Watch I really look forward to supporting you with your events.

Big thanks goes out to a young lady called Zanna Messenger-Jones from Cumbria who is a friend of Alice Pyne’s, Zanna attended a local fete where she made friendship bracelets to be sold in aid of THHN and she raised £150.00 for us. Once again the money will go to great use and will make a big difference to visiting families so thank you again Zanna.

My thanks now shifts over to Harris Pools & Leisure Ltd of Torquay who have been in touch with an amazing offer. They are going to donate £100.00 to THHN for every hot tub sale through the months of July and August. So if any of you are planning on buying a summer hot tub get yourselves down to Harris Pools & Leisure! You can read more about the offer and all contact details by following this link. Once again huge thanks to manager Kris German for approaching me with this very special offer.

My thanks now moves back across to young Alice Pyne, I am sure you all by now know about “Amazing Alice” and all she is doing for others. For those of you who don’t Alice has set up a blog where you can follow all she is doing and has done, you can view the blog by following this link.I would like to express my personal gratitude to all of you who got in touch with incredible offers of support for Alice when I first circulated her link to her blog/bucket list. I really did have so many of you get in touch with very generous offers and special thanks to Wendy at the Training Partnership Ltd and Wendy at Becky Falls for your very special offers.

Alice set up a “bucket list” of things she wanted to do before in her words “I have to go” and one of the wishes was to design a mug for charity at her favorite pottery Emma Bridgewater. Alice has very positive associations with the THHN and said it was an easy choice in choosing THHN to benefit from the sales of the mug. The idea for the design on Alice’s mug came from the THHN’s very own beach hut, that was provided by a local bereaved couple Caroline and Paul Hooper who lost their 3 year-old daughter ‘Faith’ to a very rare genetic condition. The mug also features Alice’s beloved Labradors, Mabel and Bess, along with a symbolic red bucket.

So far over 650 mugs have been sold online on the Emma Bridgewater website and the mugs are now on sale at Liberty – London this is the first time that a non profit item has ever gone on sale in the store. All – £10.00 profit from every mug will be donated to THHN proving to be amazing for us financially and gaining us worldwide exposure as many mugs have been shipped over to America! If you would like to support us and purchase one of Alice’s stunning mugs you can do so by following this link.

I would like to thank the Torquay branch of the Round Table who very kindly had me as their guest speaker for lunch this month where I was very warmly received and looked after. I later tweaked my talk to publish a text version for the THHN website titled “THHN The Story So Far”. If you get a few minutes spare it is well worth a read just to see how much we have achieved together as a network and how we continue to grow. You can view by following this link

Next in my line of fire for thanks is new THHN trustee and joint director with myself, Martin Brook. I mentioned that THHN is currently undergoing registration with the charities commission, well Martin has been an instrumental support in finding me the correct help I desperately needed to take THHN that step further. Many of you may remember Martin as a candidate for the local mayoral elections but most of you will know him for being an all round great guy who is also involved with Torbay Street Pastors.

Martin took me along to CVA Torbay (Community Voluntary Action) where staff members Robin, Rose and Rachel have all been absolutely nothing short of amazing! Without the help and guidance of Martin and they staff at CVA I would still be standing at square one scratching my head! So on behalf of myself and all future THHN families a HUGE thank you to you all.

I have another special person to thank who has been helping me in finding suitable holidays for families and this is Polly Coaker the THHN’s new “Holiday Liaison Officer”. I have a backlog of families waiting to find suitable holidays for their families who have all been referred to me. Polly’s job is to liaise with the families until a suitable holiday becomes available, this is a massive help to me as before Polly came along I simply did not have the time to be constantly calling all of the families on the waiting list every time a new holiday became available. Polly herself has been on a THHN holiday to Cornwall and knows just how much the holidays can mean to families. When Polly stepped forward to offer her help I was truly delighted and cannot thank her enough for her invaluable help.

Well on to the holidays that have been enjoyed by THHN families since my last newsletter, July proved to be our busiest ever month on record! Our busiest week we had 5 THHN families totaling 21 people enjoying free action packed holidays across South Devon. We have also organised the THHN’s first foreign holiday thanks to Garnd Mont Gites in France, I will inform of how it all goes later in the year. We have collectively given away 18 free family holidays since my last newsletter.

Holiday number 1 was provided by The Westbrook in Torquay where they accommodated a family of 4 who were referred by the charity PASIC. The family have a child suffering the effects of Leukaemia and they had a great time staying with Maureen as all families do, so huge thanks to you Maureen yet again.

Holiday number 2 was provided by Fancy’s Cottage in Dartmouth where they accommodated a family of 5 who have featured themselves in an episode of “Secret Millionaire”. The family were referred by the charity PASIC and have a child suffering the effects of Neuroblastoma. Special thanks to Riverford Home Delivery, AW Luscombes Butchers of Totnes, GB Fisheries Brixham Ltd, Teddys Cakes who provided food hampers for the family and the Dartmouth Higher Ferry who provided a free pass for the families stay. The family had a great time staying in the beautiful surroundings of Dartmouth so huge thanks to owner Vicky for her hospitality once again.

Holiday number 3 was provided by ourselves here at the Hotel De La Mer where we accommodated a family of 3 who were referred by the Taunton branch of CLIC Sargent. The family have a child suffering the effects of Lymphoblasic Leukaemia, they were lovely epole and had a great holiday.

Holiday number 4 was provided by the Marine Hotel in Paignton where they accommodated a family of 6 referred by the charity Menphys SOS (Special Outreach Service). The family have a child suffering from developmental delay and they enjoyed a fantastic week away under the hospitality on managers Nicola & Paul and their super staff.

Holiday number 5 was provided by us at the Hotel De La Mer where we accommodated a young husband and wife in their early twenties. The young lady was terminally ill with Leukaemia and they were referred by the Bristol branch of CLIC Sargent. Although this age range is not our usual type of holiday I am very please I agreed to help as they were such a special couple and they really did have a lovely holiday. Very sadly just two weeks after their holiday K called me to say that his wife had sadly passed away that weekend and to thank me for giving them their last holiday together. I am so please to have been able to do this for them and special thanks to my mother Helen and our staff who really did take extra special care of them during their stay.

Holiday number 6 was provided by the Marine Hotel in Paignton where a family of 2 were referred from the charity Menphys SOS but sadly the family were unable to attend due to a last minute crisis. But many thanks to Derek, Wendy and their managers Nicola & Paul for the offer.

Holiday number 7 was provided by us at the Hotel De La Mer where we accommodated a family of 2 referred from Wandle Road Surgery where the child suffers from Non Hodgkins Lymphoma. They were a lovely family and really did appreciate there break away.

Holiday number 8 was provided by the Marine Hotel in Paignton where a family of 3 were referred by the Birmingham CLIC Sargent team but again sadly they did not make it down due to personal reasons. So once again many thanks to Derek, Wendy, Nicola & Paul for the offer.

Holiday number 9 was provided by the Marine Hotel where a family of 6 were referred by the Taunton CLIC Sargent team and amazingly for a third consecutive holiday the family were unable to attend due to personal reasons. So for a third and final time many thanks to Derek, Wendy, Nicola & Paul for the offer.

Holiday number 10 was provided by us at the Hotel De La Mer where we accommodated a family 3 referred by the Rainbow Trust Childrens Charity. The family have a child who suffers many complex conditions including Myocloric Epilepsy, the family were having a great time but sadly had to leave early due to the child’s conditions taking a turn for the worse.

Holiday number 11 was provided by us at the Hotel De La Mer where we accommodated a family referred by the charity PASIC. The family have a son called Sam who suffers the effects of a brain tumour, Sam is a very brave young man who the following week addressed the European parliament about the lack of funding in to child brain tumour research. Sam had a great holiday and took time out to interview me about THHN for his blog, which I have posted on the THHN website and you can view by following this link Thanks to Sam for the video and please everyone check out his blog and all he is doing with his campaigning for brain tumour research.

Holiday number 12 was provided by the Buckfast Abbey at one of their large self catering holiday homes for a family of 9 referred by the Taunton branch of CLIC Sargent. The family had an amazing week and special thanks to all of our tourist attractions and members who accommodated this larger than usual family who enjoyed visits to Hanburys fish & chip restaurant, Babbacombe Theatre, Woodlands, AMF Bowling Torquay and Greenway Ferry Seafari to name just a few days out they had. Thanks goes out as well to our regular hamper providers Riverford Home Delievery and AW Luscombes Butchers of Totnes who provided extra large hampers for the families enjoyment. Finally special thanks to Abbey warden Geoff Pring for organising the holiday.

Holiday number 13 was provided by us at the Hotel De La Mer for a family of 4 who were originally referred from the charity formerly known as NACCPO but now known as CCPA (Childhood Cancer Parents Alliance). Thanks to Claire at Claires cakes who provided a box of cup cakes for the family to enjoy during their stay. The family had a great stay and were a pleasure to accommodate.

Holiday number 14 was provided by the Ashley Court Hotel in Torquay for a couple who were referred by the Taunton CLIC Sargent team. This holiday was an extra special break and again another unusual holiday for THHN as it was a honeymoon for a young couple in their early twenties. The husband is suffering the effects of a brain tumour and has had a particularly torrid time with his condition and could not afford a honeymoon. I circulated a email amongst our accommodation providers and thankfully a few of you came in with offers and huge thanks to you all for coming up with some great offers. The couple had a holiday to remember staying with Steve and his great staff, they really will never forget the hospitality shown by Steve and our THHN members. Thank you to Over The Rainbow Cake Design who very kindly provided a special gift box of wedding cupcakes for the couple to enjoy on their romantic break and obviously special thanks to Steve and his staff for looking after yet another THHN holiday so well.

Holiday number 15 was provided by the Marine Hotel in Paignton and YES the jinx was dropped and a family of 5 arrived who were referred by the Leicester CLIC Sargent team. The family have a child suffering the effects of Leukaemia and had a super holiday and were fantastically looked after by Paul & Nicola and their fab staff so huge thanks to them and a cheer for breaking the jinx!

Holiday number 16 was provided by the Ashley Court Hotel in Torquay for a family of 3 who have a child suffering from Aplastic Anaemia. The family were referred by the Bath CLIC Sargent team and I had the pleasure of meeting them and they were a lovely family who had a great time. They particularly enjoyed the hospitality of Lindsay and his staff at Babbacombe Cliff Railway Café, Lindsay very kindly has given free lunches and ice creams to a huge amount of THHN families and always goes that extra mile for visiting families. The family were also delighted with their accommodation and how well owner Steve looked after them making their child feeling extra special! So huge thanks to Steve once again.

Holiday number 17 was provided by us at the Hotel De La Mer for a family of 5 who were referred by the Bristol CLIC Sargent team. The family have a 17 year old daughter who suffers from Thyroid Cancer, they had a great holiday and you can read all about it by following this link as the family were kind enough to provide some feedback and an account of their THHN experience

Holiday number 18 was provided by us at the Hotel De La Mer for a family of 3 who have a child suffering several complex conditions including Metastic Endocrine tumour, Lung primary and Metastaces to the Liver. The family were referred by the Leicester CLIC Sargent team and are still currently with us and are having a fantastic time and don’t want to go home in the morning!

That FINALLY concludes the list of holidays provided by the THHN this time round, a special thank you to all of our other THHN members such as the tourist attractions, restaurants/cafes, theatres, cinema, bowling alley and all of the rest of the huge long list, your invaluable support really does make families holidays incredible and provides the icing on the cake! What you are all collectively giving families is memories they will treasure FOREVER and this is something you cannot put a price on, as the young man who stayed with his late wife at our hotel will tell you.

The THHN now has issued 2011 member business certificates for display, if for any reason I have missed you out and you would like one please email me and I can send one through. Just a reminder that you can download our logo and artwork by following this link if any of you would like to display your support on your websites or brochures. You can also buy THHN member plaques for under £30 with your business name on if you are interested pleases contact me for further details.

A huge thank you to each and everyone of you for your support, as I always say we continue to grow and collectively help more people in great need of quality time together!

Best wishes & thanks



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