Havant charity looks forward to offering holidays for ill children and families thanks to £13,500 donation from outgoing mayor

A BRIGHT future beckons for a charity offering family holidays for children with life-limiting illnesses thanks to a huge £13,500 donation.

Outgoing Havant mayor Prad Bains raised £13,500 for Hannah's Holiday Home Appeal. Pictured here with charity chairman Sue Stokes
Outgoing Havant mayor Prad Bains raised £13,500 for Hannah's Holiday Home Appeal. Pictured here with charity chairman Sue Stokes

A year of cancellations and restrictions hit hard for Havant-based charity Hannah’s Holiday Home, but a welcome boost has come thanks to outgoing mayor Prad Bains.

Pam Marshall set up the good cause after losing her 10-year-old daughter Hannah to Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2004, and has helped countless families make some amazing memories together.

Pam was over the moon when Hannah’s Holiday Home was chosen as Cllr Bains’ charity for his mayoral year.

Pam Marshall's daughter Hannah Westbrook in June 2004

Despite traditional fundraising efforts being out of the question, Prad managed to raise £13,500 for the charity through ideas like Think Pink week, where 20 schools took part in non-uniform days.

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Pam said: ‘We were truly overwhelmed at the amount Prad raised in such a tough year for everyone. He really was an inspirational mayor and I know first-hand that all the children at the schools we visited during his Think Pink week enjoyed spending time with him, reading and chatting to him.

‘This will mean we’re able to support so many families and take the pressure off in such a scary year when we haven’t been able to fundraise. It’s come at a lifesaving point. It’s going to mean we can continue this year and for the foreseeable future.

Outgoing Havant mayor Prad Bains raised £13,500 for Hannah's Holiday Home Appeal. Pictured here with charity committee members and volunteers

‘The awareness he has been able to bring to schools that we are on the doorstep able to help. It was really good all around, not just the money but the awareness of us and what we can do for families.’

In the gap between lockdowns last year, Pam invited Prad for a tour of the charity’s premises and he had the opportunity to meet some of the families staying at the holiday homes to really understand the impact of the charity’s work.

Prad said: ‘With the help of our community's amazing people and places, the charity will now be able to support even more local families that are going through the toughest of times.

‘In a time with no usual fundraising events, thinking outside the box has been essential, working within the guidelines to ensure funds and awareness were still being raised for the work the charity does.

‘I have known Pam and her family at the charity for years and went to the same school as Hannah, I have seen the incredible work they do and the immeasurable impact they have on local families.’

Although the holiday homes were not open to families throughout lockdown, Pam and the charity kept up with support via phone calls, arranging family counselling and more.

After scores of cancellations due to the pandemic, the charity has managed to rebook most of the families in need for their trips away.

Pam added: ‘The amount raised has certainly allowed us to continue full steam ahead this year allowing us to support even more families, not only with breaks but behind the scenes with support and advice visits and deliveries of supplies and essentials.’

Visit hannahsappeal.org for more information or to donate.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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