2012 was the first whole year of operation for our respite holiday house, The Bluebells near Basingstoke in North Hampshire and has definitely highlighted the need for this service. During the year we provided 80 respite holidays, we also opened 27 times for day visitors to enjoy our facilities and provided practical support on 50 occasions for families who live in the Hampshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Surrey area.
Our music, art and drama therapies continue to grow for those staying at the house and also for our families in the area. We also had several special events at The Bluebells including an Easter Egg Hunt, a Halloween Party and the most fun of all was the first Christmas Party where over 100 children enjoyed a fantastic winter wonderland themed afternoon. Not only did they get to meet Santa and receive a special present they also got to dance, have faces painted, did Christmas crafts. The highlights of the day were real live reindeer with Santa's sleigh and a giant snowglobe to get in and have fun in the fake snow with photos for lasting memories.
As a small charity that does not receive any funding we are dependent on the generosity of our supporters and thank you very much for your donations which allow us to continue our work and we can walk alongside our families helping them whenever they need us.
2012 was an exciting year for the Trust with our Founder, Director and Sebastian's Mum - Jane Gates being honoured with a Special Recognition Award at The Pride of Britain by Prime Minister David Cameron. This national recognition of our efforts bringing the spotlight to our charity is fantastic but inevitably leading to even more applications for support from desperate families. In 2013 we already have 45 bookings for respite holidays and requests for practical support including home/hospice transport, well-being therapies is increasing. Being able to respond to these requests is made possible by your support for which we are eternally grateful. If you live close enough and would like to see The Bluebells for yourselves, please let us know as we would be happy to arrange a visit. It is a place full of fun, warmth and laughter, where families are making special memories and of which we are immensley proud.
Wishing you all a happy, prosperous and healthy new year.
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