Donna’s Dream House

A group of 6 of us, recently entered the competition ‘Tycoons in School’ under the name Hydro-Style where we raised nearly £800 for a chosen charity. We did this by hydro-dipping phone cases and Christmas baubles and selling them at different events. The charity we chose to donate to was Donna’s Dream House in Blackpool which specialises in providing free holidays to terminally ill children and their families. After presenting the money to the founder of the charity Len Curtis MBE (whose daughter, Donna, was the inspiration for the charity) invited the six of us for a visit and tour of the house as a thank you and to show us where our donation was being used to help.

On our visit, we were taken aback by the unbelievable amount of time and dedication that was spent on making every families visit special. This included certain facilities, such as the sensory room, cinema room and sweet shop which was stocked full of a variety of sweets for the children to help themselves to. The next stop of our tour was the main house, which was a child’s wonderland, with hand painted Disney characters on every wall, a play room full of toys and beautifully furnished bedrooms. We also learned that Donna’s Dream House does not only help families with terminally ill family members but also parents that have lost a child recently. They had a separate building with private bedrooms and a bereavement room.

One aspect of our tour that really hit home was the memory wall. It consisted of small stones, each with the name of a child who had visited Donna’s Dream House painted upon it. The sheer volume of stones shocked us, it made us all realise how important the work at Donna’s Dream House is and how fortunate we are to be involved in something so worthwhile. The wall made all of our hard work into our enterprise really rewarding as we saw the extent to which our contribution was necessary to help those who needed it the most.

Donna’s Dream House is entirely run on donations. The companies and organisations in the local community heavily fund the charity and provide them with free access passes to the main attractions in the area such as the Model Village, Blackpool Zoo and the Sandcastle. A local café gives a 50% discount to the families and much of the maintenance work and decorating is done by prisoners at HMP Kirkham as part of their vocational training scheme. These allow the families to enjoy one of the best holidays of their lives.

We would like to thank Mr Curtis for inviting our Tycoon group to visit, we all found the experience very moving and all took something unique away from it. We hope that Tycoon groups in the future will also contribute to this greatly appreciated charity.

By Cally, Mercedes & Antonia – Year 12