Chloe’s Den – a dream holiday home for disabled children

Posted on 02nd March 2017 | in Community

Chloe’s Den provides a holiday home for visually impaired children

A brand new fully accessible caravan is a dream come true for children suffering from profound disabilities.

Out of Sight, a charity created by parents with children who are visually impaired and often facing complex and life limiting disabilities, were inspired to start fundraising for the holiday hideaway following the sad death of nine year old Chloe Gilbert, one of their group.

At Chloe’s funeral, her mum Denise spoke movingly about her cherished memories of Chloe’s last outing – an Out of Sight group visit to the Calvert Trust.

Founding members Kath Nixon and her husband Alan who are foster parents to two profoundly disabled children, began to realise that for a vast number of families with an extremely disabled child, holidays are not a possibility.
The families face challenges due to unpredictable medical emergencies, difficulty finding accessible accommodation and lack of funds to pay for holidays. Out of Sight came up with the idea of buying a special caravan and naming it in memory of Chloe. The facility will be free to all group members.

With the kind help of the North East public and the amazing support of local businesses, funds were raised to buy the totally bespoke and fully accessible caravan in just over a year.

Chloe’s mother Denise Gilbert

On a cold but sunny and beautiful day in Amble Caravan Park on the Links, a large number of people gathered to celebrate the official opening of “Chloe’s Den” decorated in Chloe’s favourite colour, bright pink.
Coun. David McGarr, Chairman of the North Tyneside Council performed the ceremony, accompanied by the Mayor of Amble Jane Dargue.

Coun. McGarr said he felt it a great privilege to open such a worthwhile event and applauded the efforts of all the people concerned in getting this wonderful idea into fruition.

It was a pleasure to be there and also to meet with Denise, a lovely, brave lady who felt this a special and happy day, that the holiday caravan helped her with her memories of Chloe and their many happy times together and that the idea of other families enjoying their stay, relaxing and making their memories was a great comfort to her.

Cath Findlay