The Bellhouse Belles – Pauline Donald, Valerie Bunting, Rebecca Burnham, Kish Ravell, Amanda Gray, started fundraising for Havens Hospices in 2015. This year they teamed up with Ford Technical Centre in Dunton to help renovate part of the charity’s children’s hospice – Little Havens Hospice in Thundersley, including installing a trampoline which is accessible for all.
Pauline Donald, 43, from Ramsden Bellhouse in Billericay is a Personal Trainer and started doing the charity’s annual Havens to Havens Walk to encourage her friends with their get-fit goals. Following the walk in 2015, the five friends were invited for a tour of Little Havens to find out more about what their support was helping to provide. They have been supporting the charity ever since and Pauline’s Mum and fellow Bellhouse Belle, Valerie Bunting even signed up as a volunteer for the charity.
This year the Bellhouse Belles decided to not just fundraise generally for the charity, but also wanted to help buy a physical item for Little Havens to help them continue ‘Making every day count’ for the children and families they care for. When they heard that the families and care team had always wanted a trampoline that could be used by everyone – they decided to make it happen.
Pauline explained, “We’d always been thrilled to raise money which would be used for the care and support that Havens Hospices gives to families every day, but when we had looked round Little Havens we had all said that it would be extra special to get something that they could use and that would help the children and families make memories with.
“This year we are heading in to our fifth year of supporting the charity, so we decided that this year we would get an something for Little Havens on top of our usual fundraising, when we heard about the trampoline it seemed like the perfect opportunity. I had met some of the team from Fords through work and we got talking about mine and my friend’s desire to get an accessible trampoline installed and they said they thought they could help.”
Ford Technical Centre in Dunton, hold annual community teamwork days which includes taking part in volunteering for a variety of good causes. When the team heard about the trampoline, they decided that it fit the bill for their upcoming 2019 day.
Nearly thirty men and women from the centre spent two days at the children’s hospice installing the ground level trampoline which would be able to be used by every child, including those in wheelchairs, being cared for by Little Havens. The group also made new picnic benches for the gardens, helped with general gardening and created a new pathway from the charity’s wheelchair swings to the trampoline.
The team from Ford were also joined by local firm Livermore Plant Hire, who did the groundwork in preparation of the installation. Ashley Livermore, 30 from Billericay explained, “I’ve known family and friends who have used one of Havens Hospices’ services like Little Havens and so I wanted to help in any way I could. I was really pleased that we could help Pauline and rest of The Bellhouse Belles get the trampoline project going and hope that now it is installed it brings a lot of joy to everyone who uses it.”
Pauline added “I would like to thank everyone who has helped us to help Little Havens get bouncing, by giving up your time, expertise and equipment. It was wonderful to see everyone working together and making something better for others in our community. I really hope it brings a big smile to the faces of everyone who uses the hospice.”
Katie White, Head of Children’s Services at Havens Hospices said, “From everyone at Little Havens, I would like to thank Pauline and her friends for raising money to get us a new trampoline – it is going to make a big difference to our families and they have certainly put a ‘spring in our step!’ The new benches and pathways will also make life more sociable for our families because everyone can now access all of the garden and the benches have given them more outside seating to relax together.”
If you’ve been inspired by The Bellhouse Belles and their friends at Ford Technical Centre and would like to help Havens Hospices continue ‘Making every day count’ by volunteering either as an individual or with your company at a Little Havens corporate volunteering team day please click here to find out more.