More families can enjoy precious time together and create magic memories after Derian House has launched another holiday lodge.
Bosses at the Chorley-based hospice bought the lodge at Ribby Hall Holiday Village, in Wrea Green, to treat the families it cares for to valuable time together, meaning almost 1,000 people a year can now benefit from a free week’s stay.
The Taleb family were the first to stay in the new lodge.
Mum Jo Taleb, whose teenage daughter has a life-limiting illness which means she needs round-the-clock care, said: “Going on holiday is something everyone takes for granted until you’re in our position and you can’t do it. We need a hoist, a shower chair, a wet room, everything.
“Every night, we don’t know if we’re saying goodbye or goodnight. Derian is giving people the opportunity to live your life as a family and not sitting waiting for your child to die. For us to get time to just be ourselves and do our own thing is brilliant.”
The innovative Derian on Holiday project was the brainchild of Derian House chief executive David Robinson, who wanted to give families every opportunity to create cherished memories.
The first lodge was launched last summer.
He said: “Many of our families simply couldn’t have a holiday before now because there was nowhere that catered for their needs. When they arrive they’re overwhelmed. We see tears and laughter and it’s actually overwhelming for us all too.
“We don’t know of any other hospices in the UK that can offer this service, and it’s only down to the generous donations of our supporters that we can do so.”
Derian on Holiday ambassador and Bolton Wanderers footballer Jason Lowe helped to mark the launch.
He said: “Holidays are where a lot of good memories are made. It’s where pictures are taken and you can look back on them and remember happy times. I’m sure these holiday lodges will benefit families for many years to come.”
Running costs of the new lodge have been funded for the first six months by Thomas Cook.
Gina Robertson, manager of Thomas Cook Leyland branch, said: “Children need a holiday and they get a lot from it. It’s important for development and Derian children shouldn’t miss out. We’re so happy to have been able to help.”
To read more about the initial launch last year visit: Derian House 25th anniversary: New holiday lodge and plans for a cinema
The luxury lodge, set in a peaceful location on the Wrea Green holiday park, includes an electric medical bed, hoist, fully-adapted bathroom and a large wheelchair-friendly decking area outside. The park has an accessible swimming pool with hoists, a selection of eateries, night-time entertainment, and a host of other family-friendly fun activities including cycling, boating and mini-golf.