Support workers at a children’s home are taking on the task of fundraising £2,500 to take neglected youngsters on the holiday of a lifetime.
Youngsters at King’s Lynn South children’s home have been give the gift of free accommodation for a two-week holiday in Florida, but now charity workers must raise the funds needed to fly the four children and their carers out there.
Deputy manager Katie Mathunjwa said: “This would be an amazing opportunity for our young people so we’re seeking help to purchase flight tickets. The staff are planning skydives, sponsored walks and runs.”
Manager Janet North has worked at the home for 10 years. She said: “It’s not about a holiday, it’s about giving the children a chance to experience something special and build their social skills.”
The children’s home provides safe and stable environment for the youngsters, who range from nine-years-old to 17, with some having experienced chronic abuse, neglect and trauma.
Janet said: “We take extremely damaged children who have suffered severe abuse and neglect. Some have lived through events that are extremely hard for most adults to comprehend and it takes a lot for them to trust again.
“Children are usually only removed from their situation when their physical and mental wellbeing is at serious risk and our belief is that these young people need a safe place where they will be loved and nurtured, so they can begin to heal.”
She added: “These children have never had a holiday – I can’t even describe what they’ve missed out on. While children were learning and playing, they were surviving. Some had to fight for food.
“Despite what has happened to them, the children all have hearts of gold and they just have so much potential.”
The home is run by Break, a charity that supports vulnerable children, families and young people across East Anglia, with the support of basic funding from Norfolk County Council.
Janet said: “The funding covers basics, but we like to provide the children with a lot more than that so we do a lot of our own fundraising for extra equipment and support, or even for Christmas.
“In three years, I have raised over £2,500 by running the GEAR and this year I am planning to do the Cambridge Spartan Sprint in September with my son to raise money for the flights.”
The team of staff have been working together to fundraise over the years to give the children the life they should have, but now they need extra help to raise the funds needed to give these children a well-deserved break during the summer holidays.
A family member of one of the members of staff who are helping to fundraise gave the generous donation of free accommodation for two weeks during the school holidays.
Katie said: “Times are difficult financially for all charities and we have not been immune to this but we still want to be able to try to provide the best we can for our four young people.
“A lot of the fundraising for the young people we do ourselves. We have walked over hot coals, jumped out of planes and ran marathons. And why? Because we are passionate about providing the best we can for these brave and compassionate young people.”
She added: “We feel that with your backing we may just be able to raise enough to give our young people the holiday of a lifetime.”
So far the team have two members of staff who will be completing a parachute jump, while Janet plans to do the Spartan Sprint with her son.
Over the coming months, the team will also be holding cake stalls at fun days around the area and holding pitches at car boot sales to make up the £2,500 required.
So far the donations online stand at £45, but fundraisers hope that with the support of Lynn News readers they will reach their target.
To sponsor the team of fundraisers, or to donate to the campaign to raise the money for flights, go to www.justgiving.com/katie-mathunjwa