Derbyshire children’s holiday charity marks 130-year anniversary and announces new joint patron
A highly valued Derbyshire charity that has given a holiday to tens of thousands of children who otherwise may not have had one is marking its 130th anniversary this year.
Since starting up in 1891, the Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre (DCHC) has been giving youngsters a break by the seaside in Skegness.
The charity’s 130-year anniversary is not the only news for the much-loved organisation. DCHC has also announced that former Derbyshire Lord Lieutenant Willie Tucker has agreed to be a joint patron. Willie, from Aston-on-Trent, joins Sir Henry Every, 13th Baronet, who has been a patron of DCHC since 2012.
Willie said he and his wife Jill had been able to see the great work done by DCHC during his tenure as Lord Lieutenant, when they paid the charity’s specialist holiday centre a visit.
The charity allows children who may never have had a holiday to enjoy a week of relaxation and fun. In normal circumstances, it runs between April and October with spaces for 660 children a year.
Willie said: “My wife and I have been very supportive of Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre and we greatly admired what chairman Alan Grimadell and his predecessors were doing. It’s a wonderful organisation.
“I will give whatever help and support I possibly can to Sir Henry and his role as patron. Even before the pandemic it was obvious to us that these were children who definitely deserved to have the treat of a holiday in Skegness. The holiday centre has been going for 130 years and it’s important we keep it going a lot longer.”
DCHC chairman Alan Grimadell said: “It is very moving to think that our children’s charity has been going for 130 years, giving young people who may be experiencing difficult times a much-needed break by the seaside.
“I am delighted that Willie Tucker has joined the DCHC team as another patron, and profoundly grateful for his support. He and Sir Henry Every are both fantastic patrons for our charity.”
DCHC was set up by friends Harry Sykes and Arnold Bemrose who met a group of young boys when walking through a deprived area of Derby one day. With their parents’ permission, Harry and Arnold took the boys on a day trip to Skegness.
The following year, a house was rented in Skegness and 223 children enjoyed a holiday. Funds were then raised to build a centre, which was opened in 1898.