Charity in deep crisis

PUBLISHED: 12:20 16 March 2007 | UPDATED: 22:39 28 May 2010

Julie Spicer on Hunstanton beach last summer with her parents, Colin and Margaret Spicer. during a Canopy House holiday

Julie Spicer on Hunstanton beach last summer with her parents, Colin and Margaret Spicer. during a Canopy House holiday

A CHARITY which gives Fenland families a chance to enjoy seaside holidays with their disabled dependants is in crisis. Canopy House, which owns two chalets in Gt Yarmouth and a flat in Hunstanton, is desperately in need of people to serve on its committee

Julie Spicer on Hunstanton beach last summer with her parents, Colin and Margaret Spicer. during a Canopy House holiday

A CHARITY which gives Fenland families a chance to enjoy seaside holidays with their disabled dependants is in crisis.

Canopy House, which owns two chalets in Gt Yarmouth and a flat in Hunstanton, is desperately in need of people to serve on its committee, helpers, and new fund-raising ideas to keep the lifeline going for dozens of families.

A special meeting will be held on March 26 and organisers hope individuals and businesses will offer support.

It was back in the 1970s that a group of parents with learning disabled children got together to raise money to buy the two chalets, believing running costs would be met by the local authority. When it was decided that cost would be too great, the parents decided to take on the project themselves.

First chairman was George Wright, of Wisbech, who did a parachute jump to get the fund-raising rolling - a feat which gave the charity its name.

Committee member Margaret Spicer has enjoyed several holidays with her daughter Julie, and is sad to think others could be denied the chance.

She said: "For me it is just a special time we can have with Julie. She really enjoys it and she wouldn't have a holiday if we couldn't go there.

"We don't want to see what we have achieved wasted or abandoned. We always have a waiting list and these are families who need a holiday more than most. But it is no good having the money without the manpower.

"Years ago everyone knew about Canopy House and there were lots of fund-raising events held. There was an annual dance, sponsored walks, coffee mornings and carol singing. Now most people haven't heard of it."

The organisation charges families a minimum fee to cover expenses but has recently had to re-roof the Yarmouth chalets.

Anyone interested in finding out more about Canopy House should go along to the meeting at Mendi's, Wisbech, on March 26 (7pm) or contact Mrs Spicer on 01945 773356.


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