Tag Archives: memory

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 Carolanne@thhn.co.uk

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 www.thhn.co.uk, Like them on Facebook or Follow them on Twitter.

Made for Memories

Luke Tillen and his team at Babbacombe-based charity, Torbay Holiday Helpers Network (THHN), are only too aware of how important holiday memories are for those families who experience a THHN Holiday.  The THHN gives free holidays to families who have seriously ill and bereaved children, recently bereaved families, couples who have lost a child and to families who have a terminally ill parent.  Now, thanks to the Rotary Club of Torquay, when families come on a THHN holiday they’ll also be given a Memory Book.  This great new idea is essentially a scrapbook so that families can record what they get up to whilst on their holiday.

Luke says “We can’t thank the Rotary Club of Torquay enough for these great new books.  They have generously donated 500 books to us and they have received a great reception from the families that we’ve given them to so far.  All families that have a THHN holiday do so because they’ve been referred to us by a charity or medical professional who knows how important a bit of time away is for them. These books give an opportunity for everyone to make notes about what they did, keep leaflets, put photos in or just doodle away however they choose.  I’m delighted with them and think they will be an important part of providing families with the memories of their holiday long after they return home.”

Luke Tillen and Viv Daubenspeck

Viv Daubenspeck, who was the 2012/2013 President of the Rotary Club of Torquay, is a keen supporter of Luke and the work of the THHN.  She said “The THHN is a great charity and I am so impressed by how Luke has run it over the past 4 years.  In fact, earlier this year the Rotary Club of Torquay made Luke a Paul Harris Fellow, the highest award we can bestow on anyone.  We were also very keen to provide some tangible support for what he does.  Donating the Memory Books seemed the perfect idea.  I know how vital these holidays are for many families and hopefully these books will provide another way for the charity to help them remember the fun times they have spent together.”

For more information on the work of the THHN, how families are referred to receive holidays, or how you can help, visit www.thhn.co.uk.

Fish and Chips on the menu for the Babbacombe Memory Café members

The Babbacombe Memory Café members, who meet every Tuesday at St Anne’s Hall in Babbacombe, were treated to a fish and chip lunch over the road at Hanbury’s, courtesy of owner David Hanbury, just before Christmas.

The Memory Café is run by Alzheimer’s Society and is open to all those who have dementia, their carers and family members. Denis Johnson, a volunteer at the Babbacombe Memory Café, said “Each week from 1.30pm to 3.30pm we set up our café in St Anne’s Hall and have talks about all sorts of topics along with refreshments and entertainment, as well as an opportunity to meet others in a similar position and make new friends and bonds. He added “There are currently 800,000 people affected by dementia in the UK and this is expected to rise. Many people feel quite isolated and the café provides the ideal place to make new friends and relax.”


David Hanbury had recently given a talk about his 30 years in the Fish and Chips trade at the Memory Café and was only too delighted to invite them over for lunch. He said “I received a very warm welcome at St Anne’s Hall and it was lovely to have so many members and carers over to the restaurant for lunch. The Memory Café is a fantastic local resource and provides a really wonderful service.” Denis said “We were thrilled to receive David’s kind invitation and 39 of us enjoyed a lovely lunch at Hanbury’s.”

Anyone connected with dementia is welcome at any of the three cafés set up in Torbay. There is one in Paignton, one in Brixham and one in Babbacombe. Alzheimer’s Society would also like to hear from anyone who is prepared to volunteer to help out. Volunteers are always welcome but the Brixham café is in particular need of some extra assistance. For more information telephone 01803 669216 or visit the Alzheimer’s Society Shop at 260 Torquay Road.