More seriously ill children and their families will be able to create precious memories together after Derian House Children’s Hospice opened two new holiday lodges.
The lodges, at South Lakeland Leisure Village, near Carnforth, will allow the charity to double the amount of holidays it can offer – meaning 200 families can enjoy a free break to make happy memories together every year.
A ribbon cutting ceremony, to officially declare the new lodges open, was held with the Sharples family doing the honours.
The family enjoyed a final holiday together at one of Derian’s original holiday lodges in Ribby Hall, near Kirkham, last year. Just one month later, their son Arlo, aged three-years-old, lost his battle with cancer.
Mum Laura, said: “To have a last holiday together meant the world to us. We were able to spend time together as a family and make precious memories with Arlo that we will cherish forever.
“The lodges are absolutely beautiful. Everything is such good quality and you can tell it’s been really well thought out. It was so hard leaving home with Arlo as finding somewhere with all the facilities we needed was almost impossible. But Derian House took all that stress away. It’s great to know more families will have the chance for this too.”
The lodges are fully adapted, with wide corridors for wheelchair use, medical beds and special wet rooms complete with hoists.
David Robinson, Chief Executive of Derian House Children’s Hospice said: “Derian on Holiday is a great facility that we’re really proud of. We now have four lodges open to families, giving vital time away to make great memories. It is only down to the generosity of our supporters that we are able to do this and we’re so grateful.”
Derian House Children’s Hospice looks after 450 babies, children and young people with life-limiting illnesses from across the North West.
The charity offers respite and end-of-life care, with services including hydrotherapy, sensory, and wellbeing services such as free holidays.
In a survey of users, carried out last year, free holidays were rated among the most valued services the charity offers to its families.
The care provided at Derian House is free for families, but services cost £5million to run every year. With only 12 per cent of funding coming from the government, the charity relies heavily on the generosity of its supporters and corporate partners.
John Morphet, Chairman and owner of Pure Leisure, which runs South Lakeland Leisure Village, said: “We are delighted to be working with Derian House and be a part of the charity’s wonderful initiative to offer holidays to the families they look after. It is a real compliment to have been chosen as their new holiday park partner, and we can’t wait to welcome our Derian House guests and enable them to spend quality family time together in total comfort.”