Holidays for Heroes founders to step down next year

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Dawn and Richard Woodhouse officially launched Holidays for Heroes Jersey at a ceremony at Government House on 28 August 2008. Every guest, or hero as the couple like to refer to them, must be nominated by a serving welfare officer or a military charity, and each hero has injuries in mind or body attributable to their service.

And having welcomed more than 2,600 injured members of the Armed Forces and their families to Jersey over the past 11 years, they are planning to hand the baton on.

‘We plan to step aside at our AGM in March 2020,’ said the couple. ‘It has been a wonderful journey and we have enjoyed every minute.We feel privileged to have met so many heroes, together with enabling their spouses, partners, carers and young children to all enjoy a holiday in beautiful Jersey.

‘With almost 3,000 guests [who will have been brought over] by the end of this year, we are proud to have promoted Jersey in such a good light with the help of our volunteers and the amazing welcome Islanders give our guests.

‘But after 11 years, we recognise we are not getting any younger and there is so much good will and energy in the charity, it is sensible to hand over to a younger person or persons.

‘Judging by the number of heroes nominated for a holiday just in January, there is still a need to help – we have almost 300 guests booked in this year already.’

They said a handover period would be necessary for whoever takes over.

‘Naturally we would be happy to help our successors to settle in and we will be pleased to continue supporting the charity’s activities in any way our successors choose,’ the couple added. ‘At this moment we are looking for someone with time and compassion [to take over], as the personal touch has proven to be so important to these vulnerable guests.’

The charity’s patron, Jersey’s Lieutenant-Governor Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton, praised the couple for their selfless work in running the charity. Sir Stephen said: ‘Dawn and Richard have dedicated an enormous amount of passion and time, and given outstanding personal commitment to providing much-needed respite to many service personnel and their families.

‘I am extremely grateful to them both and they can be justifiably proud of everything they have achieved leading Holidays for Heroes Jersey over the past ten years. Under their stewardship, the charity has gone from strength to strength and they will leave behind a remarkable legacy.’

He added: ‘I strongly encourage those who feel they have the energy and time to commit to continuing the work of this very worthwhile charity, to step forward and contact Richard or Dawn to find out more.’

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