The kind-hearted people behind a lifeline holiday home which provides memories for families in the toughest of times are looking forward to the next chapter.
Over the past two caravan seasons, Kian’s Gift, which was set up by Sunderland schoolboy Kian Armstrong, who fought back from cancer, has provided 70 families going through the same trauma with a welcome break.
Now Kian’s family, with a massive cash boost from charity champ Julie Reay, have been able to complete the sale of the static caravan in Haggerston Castle, Northumberland.
Nearly £50,000 was raised to purchase the caravan and ensure its future as a holiday venue for more families through a host of fund-raising activities led by Kian’s mum and dad, Jemma and Neil.
But they say the completed purchased wouldn’t have been possible without the help of Julie Reay, from Barnes, who donated £26,000 from The Peter David Lane Trust Fund, which she set up in memory of her son.
To mark the donation, the caravan will be put in the Armstrongs’ and Julie’s name, and they are opening up the use of the caravan to more families than ever before.
“We are so proud to have signed the caravan over to Kian’s Gift and The Peter David Lane Trust Fund,” explained Jemma, from Castletown.
“We were so humbled by Julie’s donation. We felt it was only right the caravan be in her name too, she’s always been such a big strong part of Kian’s gift.
“Julie will be taking over the bookings next year. Previously it has been for children and families affected by cancer, but next season we’ll be opening it up to anyone who is going through a tough time.
“Since we set up the caravan it’s been consistently full, and we want even more families to be able to create special memories there.”
Kian, five, came up with the idea of the caravan himself after visited a similar one while undergoing treatment for rare cancer neuroblastoma.
After a long course of treatment, he’s back to school at Castletown Primary School. “Kian’s doing fine,” said Jemma. “He has a lot of side effects from the treatment, but he never lets it get him down.”
l The caravan season runs from March to November. Anyone interested in using Kian’s gift should email firstname.lastname@example.org or search for ‘Kian’s Gift’ on Facebook.