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.
Teaching assistant Charlotte Blackman was tragically killed in a freak landslide while holidaying in Dorset las July.
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 Charlotte cared for in her life - particularly in her role as a volunteer for the Derbyshire Autism Services Group.
Now with the fund pot swelled to £11,000 the Blackmans have bought a minibus to transport the children and had it emblazoned with the charity logos. Soon they plan to take a group of up to 15 to Twycross Zoo.
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, from Heanor, 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.
The sister of Charlotte’s boyfriend, Vicki Butler has raised £300 so far for taking part in the Derby race for Life last week. Over the weekend Charlotte’s friends from the University of Derby plan to climb up Mount Snowdon and Johnson’s Dry Cleaners in Belper are due to name the fund as its chosen charity of the year at a ceremony next week. To donate to the charity head to www.charlotteblackmanmemorialfund.co.uk