'˜They are part of Mablethorpe's legacy' - Children's centre to close

Trustees who run a children's holiday centre in Mablethorpe have said the reason for its closure after 120 years is due to financial pressures, and the resort's lack of '˜adventure activities'.

Children from Leicester have been coming to Mablethorpe for their summer holidays for over 120 years.

The Leicester-based charity ‘Children’s Holiday Centre’ has provided summer holidays in Mablethorpe for over 60,000 underprivileged children between the ages of 6-10 since its formation in 1898.

Now, their main 1930s’ building in the resort’s Quebec Road is set to close - resulting in the loss of two full-time jobs, alongside several other part-time positions.

Shaun O’Donnell, Chairman of Trustees for the charity, said the decision had not been an easy one.

The holiday centre in Quebec Road will now close.

He told the Leader: “It’s been a very hard decision for us all, but we just can’t afford to run the building anymore - it’s that simple.

“Staff at the centre in Mablethorpe have worked tirelessly to make sure children have a memorable holiday, but the Board of Trustees agreed that we cannot continue to find the resources to keep the staff on, or the building going.”

The charity, which relies totally on donations, has to raise £185,000 a year to provide holidays for young children.

The closure of the Mablethorpe building means it can continue at other locations.

The holiday centre in Quebec Road will now close.

Mr O’ Donnell added the charity will continue to give children the break they need, but confirmed they won’t return to Mablethorpe.

He said: “We have looked at other options in Mablethorpe but we’ve found better locations in the UK that provide the adventure themed package holidays our children want.

“Sadly, the costs keep going up while the income goes down so we have to be as practical as possible going forward.

As the charity has a long standing relationship with Mablethorpe, Mr O’Donnell stated the resort will always be remembered as a ‘special place.’ He stressed the charity would always ‘look back on the area and celebrate’.

Mayor of Mablethorpe, Trusthorpe and Sutton on Sea, Councillor Tony Mee said he felt very saddened the centre is closing. He added: “It’s a total tragedy and very sad news for the children - and for the residents living in Mablethorpe and Sutton on Sea.

“I don’t think there’s anyone in the area that won’t miss the children’s presence - they are part of Mablethorpe’s legacy and now that’s sadly come to an end.”

The closure has also brought comments from residents. Tara Dawn Humphreys said her dad went to the centre as a child and she added it ‘will be sad to see it go.’

Becca Tremain said: “This is sad news. My nan’ grew up in Leicester and she is now nearly 96.

“She has fond memories of the children’s holiday centre and Mablethorpe.”

Trustees have reassured anyone who has made a donation that the money will continue to pay for holidays in 2018 and beyond.