VIDEO: 'We are so grateful' - new statue is unveiled at Derbyshire Children's Holiday Centre in Skegness after original was stolen

A new statue of a boy playing has been unveiled at a Children's Holiday Centre in Skegness after the original was stolen during lockdown.

For 130 years, the Derbyshire Children's Holiday Centre has welcomed youngsters who would otherwise not get a seaside break.

It is a charity close to the hearts of many local businesses and attractions who help give the young visitors to the coast some special memories.

However, the centre has been closed for two simmers since the pandemic started, with holidays not resuming until March 2022.

A new statue has been unveiled outside the Derbyshire Children's Holiday Centre in Skegness after the original one was stolen. Pictured are Coun Richard Cunnington, Ali Byerley, centre manager, and Coun Mark Dannatt.

The statue which is resin with a copper effect - was taken during the night last year.

Ali Byerley, community centre, said: "We were devastated really as the statue was dedicated to our chairman of trustees for providing 130 years of holidays for underprivileged children.

"Today is about unveiling the statue. It's not the same statue but he's just as nice. We are so glad to have him here depicting children having a holiday.

"Children come here every simmer from March to October who wouldn't normally have a holiday.

The official unveiling was conducted by Coun Richard Cunnington of Skegness and Alan Grimadell, chairman of the Derbyshire Children's Holiday Centre and Deputy Mayor of the City of Derby

"In years to come when they visit the resort they will see the statue and remember the children's home.

"It's in a bed of concrete now so it will never be stolen again."

Ali said she was grateful to local councillors Mark Dannatt and Richard Cunnington, who dipped into their community grant funds for the £450 to get a new statue made.

"For the statue to be stolen during the pandemic when the world was in crisis was sickening really," said Coun Dannatt, who was Mayor of Skegness when he heard the news.

"When Coun Cunnington told me about it we both agreed we wanted to help replace it.

"We've had a tour around today and it's wonderful what they do here. So to be able to present this to them again is fantastic."

Coun Cunnington added: "It was a shock to see the statue go missing and to think someone could steal something that meant so much to the children.

"It's not like it was worth a big value."

"Replacing it for them just seemed the right thing to do."

The official unveiling was conducted by Coun Cunnington and Alan Grimadell, chairman of the Derbyshire Children's Holiday Centre and Deputy Mayor of the City of Derby.

Mr Grimadell, said: "We are very grateful to Mark and Richard for replacing the statue and to the town for supporting everything we do here."

Other guests included trustees of the charity and fundraisers, many of whom had travelled from Derbyshire, including Stuart Booth, who recently walked 120 miles around Derby raising £1,000. They were given a tour of the facility and a buffet lunch.

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