Donation of £1,000 for charity as open-top bus service returns

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A sum of £1,000 has been presented to a children’s charity as part of celebrations to mark the return of an award-winning open-top bus service in Skegness.

The donation was made by Stagecoach to Dreams Come True – a national charity that helps children and young people with serious and life-limiting conditions to fulfil a dream – ahead of seeing its Skegness Seasiders hit the road for this year’s summer season.

The presentation was made at the RNLI’s recently held open day at its station in Skegess.

For the event, two of the Skegness Seasiders, Rocky and Rolly, made a special appearance.

Holidaymakers and residents alike were treated to music, balloon modeling, face-painting and a Wheel of Fortune prize give away. 

Rolly was turned into a Dream Tea Bus for the day, with 200 cupcakes created by Sugar and Spice in Hull featuring one of the eight Seasider characters and tea supplied by Heavenly Ices.

In addition, Stagecoach mascot Ralphie the Rabbit joined in the celebrations with his friend Goldie from Golden Palm Resort.

Meanwhile magician Lee Stearman put on a show and read the latest Seasiders storybook – Harry and the Seasiders, ‘Dreams Come True’, which was launched at the event.

The book is based on one of the Dreams Come True children, Harry, who sadly passed away earlier this year.

Harry’s dream was to become a marine biologist and is the main character in the story.

Books cost £2.50 with a proportion of the sale going towards the charity.

In addition to the £1,000 donation, some £210 was raised by selling souvenirs, hats, t-shirts and Seasiders storybooks at the open day.

A further £285.48 was raised from the sale of Dream Teas plus donations from the Wheel of Fortune and face painting stalls.

A competition was also held to give children the chance to have their picture included in the book. The winner was five-year-old Sophie, who has also won a holiday for her and her family to the Golden Palms resort in Chapel St Leonards which sponsored the prize package. 

Sophie is also a Dreams Come True child. She lives with congenital muscular dystrophy and has a dream to go to Disneyland Paris and meet her favourite princess, Cinderella.  

Sophie’s mum said: “Sophie was so excited to win and was over the moon when she found out. She’s very excited that there’s a swimming pool and that we’ll be near the beach. Sophie has never been on a bus either so she will be blown away when she can go on the Seasiders in her wheelchair.

“She’s also very happy that Stagecoach are sending her a goodie bag as she collects bags and hangs them on the side of her wheelchair.” 

Michelle Hargreaves, managing director of Stagecoach East Midlands, said: “The event on Tuesday was a lot of fun and it was great to see the Seasiders out of hibernation and get back onto the seafront. Launching the storybook will honour Harry’s memory and I hope that people will enjoy it on his behalf.”

The Seasiders – Rocky, Shelly, Candy, Pierre, Salty, Sandy Milly and Rolly – run every day between Ingoldmells and Skegness seafront along route 3, connecting with local attractions and holiday parks including Fantasy Island, Butlin’s, The Pleasure Beach and Skegness Pier.

For more information on the Skegness Seasiders, visit www.stagecoachbus.com