A CANCER charity has been left gutted after floods at Combe Haven Holiday Park ruined two of its caravans used by children fighting the disease and their families to enjoy time away together.
The damage is a severe blow to the Children With Cancer Fund (CWCF) as one of them was only six months old and had been brought to replace a caravan ruined following previous torrential rain in 2013.
Chris Downton, chairman of the Polegate-based charity, said families were due to be staying in the caravans during half-term week but had to make alternative arrangements. He hopes the insurance company will cover some of the cost but is appealing for the community to support the cause, with any donations received going towards buying books, toys, TVs and other items that have been ruined.
The 50-year-old was informed two weeks ago that the holiday homes, in Harley Shute Road, in St Leonards, had been left devastated by the recent bad weather and said the caravans will have to be replaced.
Mr Downton said: “We’re absolutely gutted. We cannot put a child in the caravan that has had contaminated water in it. We can’t take the risk, as there’s children who have no immune system at all.”
The caravans, which cost thousands of pounds each year in rent, rates and maintenance, are used by families who have children with cancer or who have had a young member of the family pass away from the disease.
Mr Downton added: “We know people enjoy their time there from the response we get.”
A spokesman for Combe Haven said around 240 caravans at the holiday park were affected by flooding.
He said: “All of them will be inspected and undergo repairs. Affected owners are being offered courtesy caravans or discounted site fees, whichever they prefer.
“Owners have helped us with the clean-up, which has been completed and a flood support team has been set up at the park.
“CWCF’s two caravans were badly affected and if these cannot be brought back up to standard we will replace them for the charity.”
CWCF was set up by Chris, his wife Ursula, her sister Kirsty and her husband James 16 years ago. To find out more call 01323 488561 or visit: www.childrenwithcancerfund.co.uk.