Charity to open new holiday home in memory of Horndean girl after hitting target

Hannah Westbrook
Hannah Westbrook
James Taylor at his desk in his office at 116 High Street, Old Portsmouth.

Those halcyon days when pen and paper just worked!

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Fundraisers have helped rake in an incredible £110,000 towards a charity holiday home set up in memory of a girl who died of cancer.

After two years of sponsored cycles, cake bakes and fancy dress days – and thanks to staff at Wilkinson shops across the area – the dream of Hannah’s Holiday Home to open a third luxury lodge has been realised.

The charity provides families of seriously-ill children with respite and was set up in 2004 by Pam Marshall after her 10-year-old daughter Hannah Westbrook lost her battle against Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Hannah’s Holiday Home has already opened two lodges and will now have a third which, poignantly, will be opened on what would have been Hannah’s 21st birthday on March 14, 2015.

Pam said she expected the stores to raise around £25,000 so was stunned with the total.

‘I can’t thank the team at Wilko enough for all their support – to raise more than £110,000 is just amazing,’ she said. ‘We are a tiny little charity but this money has enabled us to act on our dream and open our third holiday home in time for what would have been Hannah’s 21st birthday.

‘It’s going to be an overwhelming, monumental day, I’m sure. But to be able to celebrate with friends and family and the families who we have been able to help over the last eight years will be fantastic.

‘I’d like to thank supporters like Wilko for helping our dream become a reality.’

On top of the cash raise in stores, Wilkinson gave Pam and supporters 10 trolleys to fill with items they need for the new home in Milford-on-Sea in the New Forest. Pam and her team piled their trolleys high with dinnerware, kitchen essentials, bedding and cleaning supplies.

Waterlooville manager Shane Roberts said: ‘Supporting Hannah’s Holiday Home for the past two years has been a real pleasure and when you get to see what an impact our fundraising can have, it makes everything worthwhile. We work closely with our fellow stores in the region when it comes to fundraising and it’s been great to see members from every store here to celebrate and see our products going to such a great cause.’

The money was raised when 15 stores across the south competed against each other to raise as much as possible for Hannah’s Holiday Home over the past two years.

Hannah, from Horndean, died in 2004 aged 10 from Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

All the holiday homes the charity owns are close to hospitals with children’s oncology departments.

Go to hannahsappeal.org

Holiday History

The first holiday home opened in 2008 in Oakdene Park, St Leonard’s in the New Forest. It cost £50,000.

The second holiday home opened on what would have been Hannah Westbrook’s 18th birthday in March 2012.

It is in Pard Dean, Hayling Island and cost £75,000.

The third will now be in Milford-on-Sea, in the New Forest and will open on what would have been Hannah’s 21st birthday in March 2015.

It is a five-star luxury lodge with all mod cons. It is double the size of the other holiday homes.

Pam Marshall, Hannah’s mum, said: ‘It is fabulous.

‘We were there at the weekend unpacking the furnishings and after some rain a huge rainbow came out.

‘We took that as a sign of Hannah’s approval.’