Category Archives: Torbay Holiday Helpers Network

Ultra Iron Man Challenge for Iron Man Glen

Glen Bevan, a personal trainer at Winners 2000 Gym, is undertaking another unbelievable challenge to raise funds for Torbay Holiday Helpers Network (THHN). Glen had planned to do the London Marathon and when he didn’t get a place a friend suggested the Milton Keynes Marathon instead. While that seemed like a good idea, to Glen, it simply wasn’t hard enough. So, then he thought he’d cycle there and back. After that, adding a swim was apparently the obvious next step. Then, if you are going to swim you may as well kayak a bit as well. So, Glen’s challenge is actually to cycle 500 miles, swim 1 mile, kayak 2 miles and run a marathon. Oh, and then he’s turning 40!

Glen says “I was really disappointed not to be able to do the London Marathon then this idea came to me which makes the whole challenge an Ultra Iron Man which is just my kind of challenge.” It all happens in May so Glen is now currently in the midst of a pretty brutal training regime which means he is burning up to 7500 calories a day which in turn means he is eating an awful lot of food. Glen says of his training “I have a professional swim coach, Pete Wilby, and a professional cycle coach, Ian Trevis and both have been hugely influential.” He added “Although this is a huge challenge I’m very excited about it and it’s great to be raising money for THHN. They are my chosen charity and I’m very passionate about the work that they do so thinking of how the money raised will help them really helps drive me.”

Glen and his friend, Ash

Glen and his friend, Ash

THHN provides free, fun-filled holidays for families who have seriously ill children, families who are bereaved, having lost a child or parent, and families who have a terminally ill parent. Luke Tillen, Founder and Chairman of THHN said “Glen is an absolute star. He supports us in so many ways and puts himself through incredible agonies all to raise money for us. Having someone as passionate and inspirational as Glen on our team gives everyone a boost. He really is an amazing man with a heart of gold.”

Glen could not do this challenge without huge help from a host of sponsors including Veritas Event Solutions, Charles Blake Associates, AT Electrical, Winners 2000 and Timber Frame South West. Another vital sponsor is Craig Fish of Fish Bikes who has given Glen a brand new bike for this challenge in return for a bit of personal training from Glen. It’s win win.

As well as the event itself Glen is also having a fun, fundraising evening at Pier Point in Torquay on Thursday 2 April. Tickets cost just £10 and include food, some great music and there will be an amazing raffle and auction. Tickets are available either from Glen at the gym, the THHN Memory Makers Shop in St Marychurch Precinct or by popping in to Pier Point.

Alternatively, if you are inspired by Glen’s story and would like to sponsor him please visit

Sparkling Variety Show raises over £3000 for THHN

Saturday 28 February saw the Rainbow Hotel in Torquay packed with over 200 people enjoying a fabulous Variety Show all in aid of Torbay Holiday Helpers Network (THHN). The event was organised by Bob Vaughan, a THHN volunteer and there was an incredible line-up of talent for the audience to enjoy and enjoy it they most certainly did.

THHN Variety Show 3

Organiser Bob Vaughan and host and compere Tank Sherman – picture taken by Ree de Lacey

Acts included Keedie, fresh from her appearance on “The Voice”, Shaun Perry, Carolyn May, Mike Samuels, Abba tribute band “Take a Chance on Us”, Yours in Harmony, Supreme Dream, Becky Bennett, Stewart Masters and Tank Sherman. Bob said “I was so thrilled with the line-up that we had to entertain the masses. We had some fantastic acts from all around the country and I just knew it was going to be a great night. Particular thanks must go to the fabulous Tank Sherman who helped me organise the event and then hosted and compered the whole thing. With ticket sales and our amazing raffle and auction we raised £3275 which I am absolutely delighted about.” The evening was sponsored by the Rainbow Hotel who gave Bob the Club Rainbow Room free of change for the evening and Jamie Sinclair of What’s On Magazine. Bob said “Jamie was fantastic. Not only did he give the event free advertising in What’s On Magazine but he also supplied the flyers and posters and gave a brilliant prize for us to use on the evening. Thanks must also go to Mike Kozciban who provided the light and sound free of charge.”

"Take a Chance on Us" - picture taken by Ree de Lacey

“Take a Chance on Us” – picture taken by Ree de Lacey

Other local businesses that supplied prizes included the Babbacombe Inn, Becky Bettesworth, Dot’s Pantry, Haddon Galleries and Hanbury’s Famous Fish & Chips. Bob said “I’ve had so much support from friends, the local community and businesses it’s been overwhelming. I’m a huge supporter of THHN and the vital work that it does giving holidays to families having a truly difficult time and the way that others have stepped up to help our Variety Show raise such a great sum of money has been fantastic. Being part of Team THHN is a real honour. It is made up of a terrific group of people, many of whom gave up their time yet again to help out on Saturday.”

Fun at the Auction - picture taken by Ree de Lacey

Fun at the Auction – picture taken by Ree de Lacey

Also at the Show on Saturday was Luke Tillen, founder and Chairman of THHN. Luke said “Bob is a real star. He’s a tireless volunteer, always ready to help out and do whatever he can. He started planning this back in August last year and put so much work into making it the success that it was. He’s pure gold and we are very lucky to have him on our team.”

For more information about THHN, its work, how to volunteer or help please visit the website or find them on Facebook.

Half Marathon Challenge for Local Schools

To serious runners a half marathon does not sound too much like hard work. To everyone else it sounds like a Herculean task. So, how about a half marathon in bite-sized pieces done over 12 weeks? Beginning to sound a bit more manageable?

Well, that’s just what the THHN Half Marathon Schools Challenge is all about. The idea is that local schools encourage the children to run 1 mile each week over 12 weeks and then join the crowds on Paignton Green on Sunday, 28 June at the Torbay Half Marathon and run their final mile in front of hundreds of spectators using part of the traffic-free Torbay Half Marathon course.

THHN is the Torbay Holiday Helpers Network. THHN provides free, fun-filled holidays for families who have seriously ill children, families who are bereaved, having lost a child or parent, and families who have a terminally ill parent. THHN Fundraising Manager Brian Lewis said “This is a great way for children to participate in the Half Marathon and enjoy the atmosphere of the race, and will bring much excitement as they cross the finish line, having completed 13 miles in total. We are very grateful to the organisers of the Torbay Half Marathon for giving us the opportunity to put on the Schools Challenge at this popular event, as well as Angels Tea Rooms for their sponsorship.”

Each child taking part will receive a medal and a THHN t-shirt. Not only is the idea a great way to get children interested in running but if the children would like to raise sponsorship for THHN while taking part, then that would be even better. The school whose children raise the most money will win £100 of book vouchers.

Memory Maker Man at last year's Torbay Half Marathon

Each school will receive a map of the Torbay Half Marathon route so the children can mark of a section of the route after they have completed that week’s mile. For a bit of extra inspiration, each school can also receive a visit from Memory Maker Man, the THHN mascot, and THHN runners who will run one mile with the children at their school and tell them all about the charity and what they do.

Schools have until March 27th to sign up for this event and anyone who wants to find out more can visit or email

Thirteen is Lucky for Some

Tom Chapman, owner of Plainmoor-based Tom Chapman Hair Design is marking thirteen years of being in business with a brand new collection called #Th13teen. To celebrate and to launch the new collection Tom held a party at the Soho Bar in Torquay and is planning to enter the 2015 Hairdresser of the Year Competition.

As well as launching his new collection Tom wanted to use the event to raise money for local charity, Torbay Holiday Helpers Network (THHN). THHN provides free, fun-filled holidays for families who have seriously ill children, families who are bereaved, having lost a child or parent, and families who have a terminally ill parent. The charity was founded and is run by Luke Tillen. Tom said “I cut Luke’s hair and have been really impressed with how THHN has grown over the past few years. The work that Luke and the team do is amazing and, in my year of celebration, I wanted to see how we could help.”

At the #Th13teen launch party Tom held a raffle giving away hairdressing vouchers and products as prizes and raised £168. Luke said “Tom is a great guy and an excellent hairdresser. We wish him lots of luck with his #Th13teen collection and his plans for the year ahead.” He added “This is another example of a local, independent business making the effort to support what THHN does and I am incredibly grateful to Tom, his team and all the businesses who take such an interest in us.” A cheque from the event was presented by Tom to THHN Fundraising Manager, Brian Lewis, and THHN Memory Maker Man.

Tom Chapman Hair Design is in St Marychurch Road and is open daily from 9am to 5.30pm so, if you feel like a new look this new year, or just need a hair cut, pop in and see them or give them a call on 01803 327242. Maybe you’ll be inspired by one of Tom’s thirteen new designs.

Local Shop for Local Charity

Local charity, Torbay Holiday Helpers Network (THHN) celebrated its 5th anniversary earlier this year and, since its inception, has given away 439 holidays. THHN provides free, fun filled holidays for families who have seriously ill children, families who are bereaved, having lost a child or parent, and families who have a terminally ill parent.

These holidays are provided largely due to the generosity of local accommodation providers and businesses who offer their facilities and services free of charge. However, the charity also needs to raise funds. These are sometimes needed to help with travel costs and various other extras that the families may need but THHN has big plans for the future and the aim is to build a fully equipped bungalow to cater for people with high level care needs. This will enable the charity to give holidays to families who can’t currently use the accommodation on offer due to the severity of the illness of their loved one.

Fundraising for this huge project takes many forms but the latest development is the THHN Shop in St Marychurch precinct which had its grand opening as part of the St Marychurch Christmas Street Party on Tuesday 16 December.

THHN Shop opening 1 THHN Shop opening 2 THHN Shop opening 3

There to cut the ribbon was THHN Founder and Chairman, Luke Tillen, and the charity’s mascot, Memory Maker Man. Luke said “We had a really wonderful day. This shop is the next step for THHN and, as always with any of our projects, would not have been possible without the support of so many people. The team at THHN are a fantastic bunch and I’m so proud of what’s been achieved. As well as all of our brilliant volunteers I must thank all the local businesses who have come up trumps offering free or discounted services to help with this project, including Swift Carpets and Flooring, who donated all the carpet for the shop and office free of charge, Medworth Plumbing and Heating, Dandy Decorators who donated the paint for the shop and Tactile Timber who carried out all the carpentry work. The shop looks amazing. Really bright and inviting and exactly what I was hoping for.” He added “My thanks go to each and every person who has helped out and to everyone who will hopefully enjoy shopping there in the future. Particular special mention must go to Carolanne Hart who has overseen the whole project and is our Shop Manager. She has worked tirelessly and is a constant source of energy and inspiration.”

Carolanne said “I’m delighted with how the shop looked and so excited by how our opening day went. We received such a lot of great feedback. Everyone seemed to really like the shop and was impressed with the quality of the items that we had for sale. The quantity of donated goods that we’ve received has been overwhelming. People have just been so generous and supportive. We had a raffle and games which raised over £200 and the till was ringing all day. I couldn’t have asked for a better start.”

The shop is open Monday to Saturday from 9am to 5pm and Carolanne is now urgently looking for volunteers to join their very friendly team. If you have a few hours to spare and would be interested in helping out please either pop into the shop to see Carolanne, give her a ring on 01803 324542 or e-mail

As well as all the excitement of the new shop opening on Tuesday THHN also received a donation of £750 from Babbacombe Model Village from their Wishing Well Fund and Maureen MacDonald from the Rotary Club of Torquay presented a cheque for £150 to buy a very special Christmas present for a very special young lady who will be on a THHN holiday over Christmas.

As if all of that wasn’t enough, some of the team from Palm 105.5FM delivered an amazing selection of 50 Christmas presents for THHN children to enjoy this festive season. The gifts were donated as part of their “Give a Gift” campaign.

Luke said “It’s been a wonderful week and we all feel so positive about the future of THHN as we head into 2015. We’re very lucky as it seems that many people empathise with what we do and want to support our work. We hope to provide many more holidays for these amazing families who are having such a terrible time and do what we can to provide a little bit of respite for them and help them make some holiday memories that they will treasure forever.”

For more information on THHN visit their website at, Like them on Facebook or Follow them on Twitter.