Jack has cerebral palsy affecting all limbs, asthma, uncontrolled epilepsy, and vision problems. He had a stroke at two years of age plus learning difficulties and permanent wheelchair user. Jack's parents both work full time to support his medical needs and simply can't afford to go away on holiday.
The family were given a no charge holiday at our caravan in Mablethorpe which at the time was sited on the Haven complex. This would enable the family to have ‘normal’ holiday time away from the hospital and stress.
Accessible venues were identified for the family within the town and on the site. Accessible decking has been added to the caravan and an accessible sea front beach hut supplied to add to the holiday experience, memories and photographs.
Jack's mum provided us with this lovely testimonial:-
Maria Hanson via me&dee provided us, as a family a much needed break in a beautiful caravan at the seaside. We are not a family that need a break from our disabled son, we are a family unit who want to be able to access breaks and holidays as a family, not for jack to be sent away so we can have a break.
As we both balance full time jobs, my husband having to work nights to enable us to ensure jacks needs are met. We have been unable to apply to many charities who means test, as soon as it is mentioned we both work, we cannot apply. We've previously sent loads of time emailing, filling out forms and countless phone calls only to be told, no you both work, never has it been taken into account that we have to both work to meet the extreme financial demands on us as parents to provide not only for our son (DLA doesn't even come close to covering costs) but also to try to provide as near a normal life, and provide experiences for our daughter, twin to jack. Noone ever really takes into account the many hardships she has had to endure or witness over the years.
Jack has many complex and rare health needs. We don't really dwell on the down points, there are many…. Instead we are positive and try to provide as many experiences as possible for our children.
With Maria and me&dee, we were gobsmacked that a) not only could we apply but b) the process and form filling was to the point and quickly completed. This means a lot to me as i am constantly working into the early hours to fight for what jack needs.
When we went to the caravan at easter, it enabled us to have rare and precious family time, and to recharge our batteries. I cannot even begin to put into words just what the break in the caravan provided.. Other than to say, it gave us the opportunity to leave the demands around jack behind for a week, yes he still had seizures, yes he still had issues with his throat swelling, yes we still have to do every single thing for him. But, we had a nearly normal sort of week, we were together and it recharged our batteries.
Jack absolutely loved the caravan, while not wheelchair accessible; we did manage to lift him in and out. He loves caravans and anything transport related and really enjoyed his seaside caravan holiday and ensured he signed and told anyone who would listen!
We are eternally grateful to Maria to provide a break at an extremely delicate and critical time for us.
The beach huts were an amazing and welcome addition, to have a base, at the beach was worth more than its weight in gold, we had everything at hand and didn't have to pack everything away when we wanted a walk into town, on the beach etc, it was also a private haven for any care needs and a base for us to leave his beach wheelchair that had to be set up and dismantled to get it into jacks van.
Jack's Twin Sister, Zoe said:-
Maria I'd just like to thank you for everything you have done for us and everyone else who's lives you make more special.
Through me&dee we were able to have a holiday in Mablethorpe which allowed my parents a break from the stress of daily life. It was a lovely caravan and even without a ramp we were able to lift jack in without a problem.
There was so much to do on site which allowed me to take Jack out while my mum and dad had some time to themselves or time to cook dinner without us getting in the way
I can't thank you enough for this opportunity