Two wonderful new vacation lodges that will help more seriously ill children and their families create precious memories together have opened thanks to Derian House Children’s Hospice.
The lodges, based at South Lakeland Leisure Village, near Carnforth, will allow the charity to double the number of vacations it can offer, meaning 200 families can take advantage of a free break to create happy memories together every year.
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The family of a young boy from Burton-in-Kendal, who tragically died of cancer last year, attended an official groundbreaking ceremony to declare the new lodges open.
Little Arlo Sharples, who was diagnosed at the age of two with an aggressive brain tumor, died of cancer on November 29 last year at the age of three.
The family spent a final holiday together at one of Derian’s original holiday lodges at Ribby Hall, near Kirkham, last year. A month later, little Arlo lost his battle with cancer.
Mum Laura Sharples paid tribute to Arlo and praised Derian House and the “absolutely gorgeous” original holiday lodges at Ribby Hall near Kirkham which have helped the family create treasured memories with him.
Emphasizing how a family vacation with Arlo at Derian House’s original lodge in Ribby Hall was a “memorable experience,” Laura said it was “hard to express what that meant.”
She said: “One of our most memorable experiences was using the Derian Holiday Lodge at Ribby Hall. We spent the week relaxing together, taking walks, playing on the swings, and Arlo loved feeding the ducks.
“It’s hard to put into words what it meant to have this last time together as a family.
“Spending the last vacation together meant the world to us. We were able to spend time together as a family and create precious memories with Arlo that we will cherish forever.
“The lodges are absolutely beautiful. Everything is of such good quality and you can tell it was really well thought out. It was so difficult to leave home with Arlo because finding a place with all the facilities we needed was nearly impossible. But Derian House took all that stress away. It’s great to know that more families will have the chance to do this too.
The lodges are fully adapted, with wide corridors for wheelchairs, medical beds and special wet rooms equipped with freight elevators.
David Robinson, Managing Director of Derian House Children’s Hospice, said: “Derian on Holiday is a great facility and we are really proud of it. We now have four lodges open to families, providing precious time to create fond memories. It is only thanks to the generosity of our supporters that we can do this and we are very grateful to them.
Derian House Children’s Hospice cares for 450 babies, children and youth with life-threatening illnesses from across the Northwest, and the association provides respite and end-of-life care, with services such as hydrotherapy, sensory and well-being services such as free vacations.
In a user survey last year, free vacations were ranked among the most valued services the charity offers to its families.
Care at Derian House is free for families, but the services cost £ 5million each year. With only 12 percent of funding coming from government, the charity relies heavily on the generosity of its supporters and business partners.
John Morphet, President and Owner of Pure Leisure, which operates South Lakeland Leisure Village, said: “We are delighted to be working with Derian House and to be a part of the charity’s wonderful initiative to provide family vacations. that they take care of. It is a real compliment to have been chosen as our new holiday park partner, and we look forward to welcoming our Derian House guests and allowing them to spend quality family time in total comfort.
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