A much-loved children’s charity has teed off for its 2024 holiday season backed with more than £10,000 raised by Derbyshire golfers.

Parents have waved off their children as the first busload of primary-aged pupils set off on holiday to Skegness with the re-opening of the Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre for its 2024 season in March.

The charity, 133 years old this year, provides five day stays at its specialist centre in Skegness for children who are nominated through their school because it is felt they may not otherwise get a holiday – due to financial hardship or other reasons.

Children leaving from the Bonnie Prince statue in Derby for the first of this year’s Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre breaks in March, 2024, with charity chairman Alan Grimadell

It runs from March to October each year with a busload of different children being taken on holiday each week.

Mum Melissa Glover was one of the parents waving off her 11-year-old son Kaedonn, who she said had been to the centre previously and was looking forward to staying in a room specially decorated on a Derby County FC theme.

She said: “He loved it last time. His granddad went when he was a little boy and for it to have carried on … he’s got three younger sisters so it’s a break for him!”

The charity has recently reported its costs have risen by more than £1,000 a week due to soaring prices but has received a significant boost this year thanks to Breadsall Priory and Horsley Lodge golf clubs which have between then contributed more than £10,000.

Breadsall Priory Golf Club has handed over £8,670 after a year of fundraising, with both the men’s and ladies’ captains having nominated the holiday centre as their chosen charity during the last season.

Nigel Gell and Janice Bamford presenting a cheque for £8670 to David and Ann Harris from the Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre

Meanwhile, Horsley Lodge Golf Club has raised a further £1800.

Nigel Gell, men’s captain at Breadsall Priory Golf Club, said there had been a variety of fundraisers over the year including raffles, auctions, an evening event and a captain’s day.

He visited the charity’s centre in Skegness to visit the children enjoying a holiday there, and he and the ladies’ captain, Janice Bamford, greeted the charity’s bus as it dropped the young holiday-makers back in Derby.

He said: “Both Janice and I wanted to do something that was benefiting a local charity. We also wanted to do something that was based around children.

“I used to be a lecturer and a teacher so doing something for children was right at the heart of what I wanted to do.

“The charity’s work became very apparent when I went to see the children at the centre. I saw how much they were enjoying themselves. It really made it clear that we had chosen the right charity to support.

“We also went to see the children arrive back to Derby after donating some umbrellas kindly provided by Breedon Group. Just seeing their excitement was brilliant.”

Alan Grimadell, chair of the Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre, said: “We’ve been blown away by the incredible fundraising efforts of Breadsall Priory and Horsley Lodge golf clubs who have really pulled out all the stops to provide this valuable donation to us. It really does mean a lot to the children who go on these holidays and we as a charity relying entirely on donations are so grateful for their support.

“There is still a great need for our charity as unfortunately the rise in cost of living has meant that many families are struggling. We provide much more than a holiday: children who come to our centre are given a relaxing break but often enjoy a big boost to their confidence too.

“We are so proud to be still running the Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre which was started way back in 1891 and we thank each and every person who contributes to its ongoing work.”

This story was written and shared on behalf of Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre by Lucy Stephens. Can we share your news and get you in the headlines too? Find out how we can help by getting in touch.