Group set up to provide holidays for youngsters

From left: Mrs Whitley from London with son Yousif who were the first to benefit from Michael Ryan's idea (right) as he gave up his caravan for a week.
From left: Mrs Whitley from London with son Yousif who were the first to benefit from Michael Ryan's idea (right) as he gave up his caravan for a week.

A group set up little over a month ago to raise funds to provide free holidays to children with disabilities and their families has amassed more than 3,000 members.

The Facebook-based group called ‘Sand, Sea and Special Needs’ was set up by Skegness caravan cleaner and market stall holder Michael Ryan, 37, who, along with other members of the group’s administration, has had experience with disability.

He said he launched the group to raise the money to buy a fully-adapted static caravan for the town so that free holidays could be offered to children with disabilities and their families.

“I wasn’t expecting the group to take off like it has, with 100s of members joining daily,” he said.

Since setting up the group, caravan owners have given up time to provide holidays for disabled children - giving away 20 holidays free of charge and donating more than £1,000 into the www.gofundme.com/freecaravan account.

Each of the administrators has their own story and reasons for wanting to help - Michael’s being his son, who suffers from a life-threatening condition.

“Because of this I wanted to help others in similar positions and so far that’s exactly what we have done,” he said.

The group hope to become a registered charity, with the ultimate aim to purchase the specially-adapted caravan suitable for disabled children.

Donations of £5 or more can be made at www.gofundme.com/freecaravan or smaller donations can be made via PayPal to ryanmichael428@gmail.com (if done via PayPal - put reference as ‘caravan fund’).

For more information email sandsunandspecialneeds@gmail.com