Bluebell Wood’s much-loved cocker spaniel George proved a big hit with staff at Center Parcs when he paid the head office team a visit during Children’s Hospice Week.
The six-year-old dog, who is the children’s hospice mascot, was welcomed to the company’s head office in Sherwood Forest with Harry Finlayson and Bluebell Wood fundraisers Julie Hampson and Anna Gott. Harry is the dad of Georgia who sadly passed away at Bluebell Wood in 2011 at the age of 13.
Bluebell Wood is one of 54 children’s hospices within Together for Short Lives, the national charity that Center Parcs chose as its corporate charity partner for 2016-17. Each day during Children’s Hospice Week, Center Parcs helped its staff see what a difference their fundraising makes by giving them a range of insights into the services that Bluebell Wood offers its children and young adults.
George lives with a member of the care team at Bluebell Wood and spends his days keeping children, staff and volunteers company at the hospice. He was originally bought for Georgia and is named after her. He still has a very special relationship with Harry, who visits Bluebell Wood most weeks and has raised thousands of pounds in his daughter’s memory.
Harry said: “Without Bluebell Wood we would not have been able to cope as well as we did. Georgia would always ask if she could stay at Bluebell Wood and to us and our family and friends it was a place that we could relax, have fun and live as you would at home. I was once asked, if there was any one person at Bluebell Wood that I could pinpoint as being exceptional. I didn’t have to think twice about it, everyone from the chief executive to the cooks, cleaners and gardeners were all exceptional, professional, kind and caring. We classed the hospice as one big happy family.”
Center Parcs staff explained why they’re involved with Bluebell Wood. Tracy Walker from the Training team said: “Bluebell Wood is such a fantastic charity. It’s so family-orientated and all about fun. Because the hospice is so close to home, we really get to see the results of our fundraising. It’s great to see we’re making such a difference to local families.”
Kay Pennington from Operations said: “George has such a fantastic energy. It was lovely meeting him and Harry and hearing their story.”
Matt Wightwick from the Contact Centre said: “I’m one of several people from Center Parcs doing a skydive for Bluebell Wood. It’s going to be a great experience and I’m glad to be doing it for such a fantastic cause.”
Julie Hampson, Corporate Fundraiser, Bluebell Wood: “We were delighted to take George along to Center Parcs’ headquarters. We’re really grateful to the team for making us so welcome and we’re very impressed to hear about the amazing fundraising they’re doing. Every penny raised really helps families across South Yorkshire, North Nottinghamshire, North Derbyshire and parts of North Lincolnshire to make special memories together.”
Center Parcs partnered with Together for Short Lives in the summer of 2016 helping to raise awareness and funds for the 49,000 families caring for children with life shortening conditions across the UK. As part of this partnership each Center Parcs village is partnered with a local hospice, for Center Parcs Sherwood Forest and the companies head office this is Bluebell Wood.
Over the last 12 months staff at Center Parcs Sherwood Forest and the companies head office, based in New Ollerton, have raised over £21,000 for Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice through events including raffles and auctions, colouring competitions and fun runs.
To make a donation or find ideas for helping Bluebell Wood make more memories for the 250 families it cares for, please visit www.bluebellwood.org.
Notes to Editors
- Center Parcs has five villages across the UK; Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire, Elveden Forest in Suffolk, Longleat Forest in Wiltshire, Whinfell Forest in Cumbria and Woburn Forest in Bedfordshire
- As the leader in the UK short break holiday market, Center Parcs regularly achieves average annual occupancy in excess of 97%.
- Center Parcs offers weekend, (Friday to Monday) or midweek (Monday to Friday) breaks and welcomes more than 2.2 million guests each year, with 96% of guests expressing an intention to return
- The Center Parcs concept is to provide a range of high quality accommodation, shops, restaurants and exceptional leisure facilities, carefully nestled amongst 400 acres of protected forest environment.
- This concept originated in Holland in 1967, with the first UK Center Parcs opening in 1987. Center Parcs is now a separate entity in the UK.
- Center Parcs has been announced ‘Best Family Friendly UK Holiday Provider’ in the Tommy’s Awards for the fourteenth year in a row.