IT took almost eight years of fundraising and a lot of hard work.
But finally residents and staff at care homes in Lee-on-the-Solent are celebrating after they successfully raised £10,000 needed for a new people carrier.
The residents in two Sanctuary care homes in Victoria Square and Montserrat Road have learning difficulties and desperately needed the money for a new vehicle to ferry them around to various social events.
So, back in 2004 they began fundraising, with two major events each year, working towards a target of £12,600.
Manager of the homes Lesley Senior said: ‘We’re thrilled to have finally hit our target.
‘I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who made this possible for all their hard work and support.
‘It’s important for the residents to improve their life skills. They are on limited benefits.
‘Travel, particularly from Lee-on-the-Solent, is difficult for them.
‘There aren’t many buses so it’s down to taxis.’
Lesley said that having the people carrier, a Vauxhall Zafira, will open up the opportunities they have to get out and about and socialise.
The residents join various clubs and groups in the area such as dance and drama groups, or college courses.
‘This people carrier will be important for our residents,’ she said.
‘We will be able to use it to transport them to their activities, such as evening clubs, rather than them having to use taxis.
‘They need to be as involved in the community as they can be, like any one of us.
‘They need somebody to support them to do it.
‘They want to do the things that everyone else does.
‘We’re over the moon. The residents are excited.
‘For the first week or so that we had it, they didn’t stop talking about the new car.’
In total, the staff and residents at the two homes raised £10,600 with the final £2,000 coming from their parent charity Sanctuary Group.
But now, they will have to start fundraising for the next car, fearing that in years to come they may need money for another one.
‘We want to start fundraising for the next one because it’s taken so long to get the money for this one,’ said Lesley.
‘As time has gone on the fundraising events are so successful.
‘The events that we have are so fun.’