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Oh, we do like to be beside the seaside!

In 2015, Walsingham Support purchased a caravan on the picturesque Cumbrian coastline to enable those supported by the charity to enjoy an affordable holiday or weekend break in a beautiful setting.

The caravan was acquired using money from Bill’s Fund, which was set up following the death of former Walsingham Support Care Director, Bill McLaughlin, in 2002. Proposals for how the fund should be used come directly from the people supported by the charity, who send in ideas for items, amenities or experiences that could make life better for them and others.

About Bill’s caravan

The caravan is situated in Spring Lea Holiday Centre in Allonby, a picturesque village on the Solway Coast, which has been designated an Area of Outstanding Beauty.

The caravan has two bedrooms, one double and one twin, a bathroom and a lounge area with gas fire and TV. Guests can access the leisure facilities of the Spring Lea Holiday Centre, which include:

• A local pub and on-site restaurant
• A swimming pool, sauna and hot tub
• A children’s play area
• Car parking
• A launderette
• Free Wi-Fi

At our annual Involvement Conference, and our regular involvement meetings, a common theme from people we support is that going on holiday should be part of a ‘normal’ yearly routine, as it is for most people who do not have learning disabilities. This is something that we at Walsingham Support are trying to make a reality for people we support, and not merely a once in a lifetime aspiration.

Sandy beaches, stunning views, a trip to the Lakes…?

The Holiday Centre is just a two-minute walk from a long sandy beach, which offers spectacular views out across the Solway Firth. In the distance, you can see the mountains of Southern Scotland and even the Isle of Man on a clear day. The beach and sand dunes are perfect for strolling, fishing, and watching or trying out sports such as kite- or windsurfing.

The charming, historic village of Allonby has a local pub and is renowned for its homemade ice-cream. The coastal town of Maryport, with a rich maritime history, is a short drive or bus ride away and has a range of shops, facilities and amenities.

The caravan is also an excellent base to discover more of the breath-taking scenery and picturesque towns Cumbria has to offer. Why not take a drive over to Whitehaven to see more of the Cumbrian coast, or further inland to the peaks, valleys, tarns and villages of the Lake District?

Bill’s Caravan is open from March until mid-October and has been facilitating fun and memorable trips for many of the people we support. James, who visited the caravan earlier this summer, said, “The caravan is really nice… I like to sit out on the decking and enjoy the sunshine. I go swimming and to the pub. I also like going to the shop for ice-cream, then for a walk along the beach.”