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Saturday, 20 September 2014

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Alice's legacy keeps growing as latest facilities opened

“COMMUNITY spirit” has been praised for helping to provide seriously ill children with relaxing family holidays as part of Alice Pyne’s legacy.

Alice’s Escapes supporters proudly attended the official opening of the charity’s second family caravan and new headquarters at Bardsea Leisure Park in Ulverston on Friday.

The annual open day is held to thank the public and show them where their donations and sponsorship pledges go.

This year the supporters toured the new fully disabled access caravan, named Molly’s Place, and Lottie’s Lodge, the charity’s new meeting hub. Molly’s Place was largely paid for through a Windermere Lions club legacy and fundraising from the Keswick to Barrow 2013.

Lottie’s Lodge was largely funded through the charity’s second Kilimanjaro trek.

The lodge is now the headquarters for the charity, and will be the meeting place for craft sessions and a place to offer bereavement support for parents and siblings of children who have passed away.

Young ambassador for the charity, Sammi Blundell, 18, who was Alice’s best friend, helped Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock officially open the new facilities, which are based next to the charity’s original caravan, Mabel’s Place.

Mr Woodcock said Alice would be unsurprised with how far her charity had come because of the dedication of the team, but nevertheless she would be “very, very proud”.

A-Level student, Miss Blundell, said it was wonderful to read the comments from all the families who have been helped through Alice’s Escapes so far.

She said: “It shows how much they appreciate their time here away from treatments and hospital and being separated. They are here with their siblings and parents as a whole family.

“It’s the kind of experience that Alice had when she stayed in Devon and now families can have that here.”

Alice’s mum, Vicky Pyne, said: “It’s an incredible moment. All of this is down to community spirit. It’s the local community who have achieved this. Now we can accommodate more families.

“Alice would be really chuffed, she knew we would do this and wouldn’t give up. It feels really good.”

Supporters were impressed with the facilities, including a group of pupils from Barrow’s Furness Academy who have raised money for the charity through a craft event and other activities.

Inspirational Alice passed away, aged 17, in January 2013 after battling Hodgkin’s lymphoma for five years.

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