Charity is given Hayling Island beach hut bolthole for children

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WITH glorious views across The Solent, the colourful beach huts of Hayling Island can fetch up to £15,000 on the open market.

But a generous family have donated their blue and yellow bolthole to a charity which supports disabled children and young people.

Smile Support and Care is hoping to raise enough money to build a £3.4m respite centre in Waterlooville but, ahead of that, they can now take young people to the hut, in Beachlands, for some peace and quiet and relaxation.

Ted Gostling is president emeritus of the ACT Foundation, a grant-making charity enhancing the quality of life for children in need.

Mr Gostling acquired the beach hut in 2005 for his family and friends to enjoy trips to the beach.

But in the years since he moved to Virginia Water, near Windsor, he has been unable to use the hut as regularly as he would like and donated it to Smile for others to enjoy.

It comes fully furnished ready to be enjoyed and is easily accessible for people with disabilities, making it ideal for the young people cared for by the charity.

Mr Gostling said: ‘The support Smile Support and Care provide to disabled children and young adults is admirable and it is my pleasure to donate the beach hut we have on Hayling Island beach.

‘The location is beautiful and makes a great day out by the sea. I hope the beach hut provides many happy memories for those supported by the charity.’

The beach hut was officially accepted by the charity with a grand opening by the Mayor of Havant, Gerald Shimbart, on Tuesday in front of a crowd of the charity’s staff members and the children they support.

Stuart Baldwin, the charity’s chief executive, said: We are extremely grateful to Ted who has provided us with such a unique and special donation.

‘The beach hut is in a lovely place and will be a very welcome destination for many of our young people to enjoy.’

Volunteers from Asda gave the hut a repaint.