A holiday home to give families who face the toughest of tasks a break could become a reality with the launch of a £30,000 campaign.
Hartlepool Families First is aiming to hit its target to pay for a caravan on the North Yorkshire coast which will become a haven for those it helps.
To kick off the appeal, Sir Ron Norman, the man who helped pioneer plans for the town’s marina development and past chairman of the Teesside Development Corporation, is planning to tackle his next challenge for charity.
To mark his 80th year, the former businessman will climb Ben Nevis for the third time, with sponsorship cash to go to the fund.
Sir Ron, who has climbed the peak twice before, said: “I thought this was an opportunity to raise awareness for something and I came across Hartlepool Families First.
“I’m absolutely bowled over by the fact that these are the lives of some young people, which we don’t see or hear about.
This is a huge issue, supporting young people and their families, who are often facing burn out because they have 24/7 care responsibilities, 52 weeks of the year.Paul Thompson
“People living normal lives will find what they do unimaginable and that started me thinking about what I could do for these carers.”
Sir Ron, who lives in Dalton Piercy, has plans to reach the top of Britain’s highest peak, in the Highlands of Scotland, in coming weeks.
Paul Thompson, who manages the York Road charity, said: “This is a huge issue, supporting young people and their families, who are often facing burn out because they have 24/7 care responsibilities, 52 weeks of the year.
“They have very difficult and challenging lives and to support them with short breaks is exactly what they need.
“There is going to be adequate facilities for them to stay and we will be providing staff to support them with their responsibilities so they can take a break.
“The running costs will be £5,000 a year, and we think we can meet that.
“The overall cost and budget of the caravan will be £30,000, which is a lot at the outset, but we think we can achieve that.
“This has been a real ambition of ours for a long time and we really needed someone to champion it.
“Sir Ron is 80 this year and he wanted to mark that milestone and he has so much experience, in regeneration and engineering and so many other areas, he is a perfect champion of our work and knows how people coming together is so pivotal in our work. “If other people wish to fundraise, that would be great.”
Anyone who would like to support the appeal can call the charity on (01429) 867016 or visit https://www.hartlepoolfamiliesfirst.org.uk/