Last month, the fifth Principle Trust Children’s Charity lodge was officially opened by Peter Squires, ex British Lions & England rugby union player, in conjunction with Wooden Spoon, the Children’s charity of Rugby.
Based in Skipton, The Principle Trust Children’s Charity provide free holidays to underprivileged, disadvantaged and disabled children that wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to go on holiday. Working alongside other charities and government bodies predominantly within the Yorkshire region, 100% of every penny raised by the charity goes direct to the children, family & carers that they provide free holidays for.
Setup by Mike Davies MBE, the charity so far have sent over 2,400 children on a holiday that wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity. Over nine years, the trust has three holiday homes on the Haven holiday park in Blackpool, plus a 4th at Ribblesdale Park in Gisburn.
The 5th holiday home based in Windermere on the fabulous White Cross Bay Park Dean Resort in the Lake District, has taken over 18 months of fundraising and grant applications by the trustees and staff of the charity.
The new lodge has been fabricated for disabled access which has been paid for in its entirety by the Wooden Spoon, the Children’s charity of rugby Yorkshire committee. The overall grant by the Wooden Spoon charity of over £20,000 allowed for alterations to the lodge making it suitable for use by physically impaired youngsters. This included a wet room, the installation of sliding doors, to maximize access and a wheel chair ramp up to the raised platform area to the front and side access doors of the Cabin.
Peter Squires said: “I’m very pleased to perform my first official function with the wooden spoon charity at the wonderful Lake District. I am delighted to return to open such a worthy project, organised by the Principle Trust Children’s Charity and supported by the Wooden Spoon. The chalet looks fantastic both outside and inside, fully equipped and sorted to meet disadvantaged and disabled children, who am sure will benefit hugely from it.”
Mike Davies MBE, Founder & Trustee from the Principle Trust noted: “Our aspiration from the outset was to open a holiday home in the Lake District and we are delighted to open it today on the Park Dean resort in Windermere. A stunning setting, surrounding and child centric place we’ve manage to locate and purchase through all the generous donations, fundraising and hard work that the Principle Trust team has put in and all our fantastic donators have provided to assist in keeping the charity growing. The final amount of £20,000 that the Wooden Spoon charity donated has allowed a complete refurbishment inside the lodge, making it wheelchair friendly, with a brand new wet room, widened doors and laminate flooring throughout.”
In attendance on the day were two of the Principle Trust’s partners, whom select the children for a holiday at the lodges; Diane Watts of Embrace (The Child Victims of Crime), plus Dawn Hutton & Hannah Sheldrake of Holly Bank Trust of Mirfield. Also attending the opening, representing Wooden Spoon Yorkshire were Stuart Watson, Chairman of Yorkshire Spoon, guest of honour, Peter Squires, John Little and Michael Coghlan from the Yorkshire committee. From the Principle Trust were Trustees Mike Davies MBE, Clare Campbell and Ann Harding, plus partner & holiday home manager, Tina Marsh.
The extra lodge will allow another 48 families to benefit from a week’s holiday that they would not otherwise have the opportunity. The letters and feedback that are received from those that visit the holiday homes are both humbling and heart-warming, which gives the charity trustees and team the impetus to keep growing the charity.