A fledgling charity aiming to take autistic and vulnerable children on holidays is gearing up for action with the arrival of a new 15-seater minibus.
Horsley Woodhouse Primary School volunteer Charlotte Blackman, aged 22, was tragically killed in a freak beach landslide while holidaying in Dorset in July, last year.
Her parents, Kevin and Rachel, set up the Chalotte Blackman Memorial Foundation shortly afterwards and vowed to use any money raised to provide holidays to those trainee Charlotte cared for in her life - particularly in her role as a volunteer for the Derbyshire Autism Services Group.
Now with the fund at £11,000, the Blackmans have bought a minibus and had it emblazoned with the charity’s logos. Soon they plan to take a group of up to 15 to Twycross Zoo in Staffordshire.
Rachel said: “It all seems very real now that we are doing something with the money raised. I’m looking forward to it, I can’t wait to get going.”
The Blackmans hope one day to use the funds to buy a holiday home to take youngsters to, but for now the bus will be used for day trips or to provide additional transport for other similar charities.
And the fundraising effort is still going strong.
Vicki Butler , the sister of Charlotte’s boyfriend, has raised £300 so far for taking part in charity run. And Charlotte’s friends from the University of Derby climbed Mount Snowdon in Wales.
It comes as Johnson’s Dry Cleaners in King Street, Belper named the fund as the shop’s chosen charity of the year at a ceremony.
To donate to the charity head to www.charlotteblackmanmemorialfund.co.uk