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Prince Edward visits Derbyshire children’s charity

His Royal Highness the Earl of Wessex, Prince Edward, visited children’s charity CHICKS to officially open their new Derbyshire retreat on 27th September.

CHICKS provide free respite breaks to disadvantaged children from all across the UK. The retreat, known as Daleside, is located in Fenny Bentley, just outside Ashbourne and was purchased by the charity at the end of 2014. Since then, the former holiday cottages have been transformed into an accommodation block for groups of 16 children to stay, along with purpose built games, play and arts and crafts facilities. The charity has two similar retreats located in the South West of the UK.

Robert Gofton, Chief Executive at CHICKS, said: “Over the last two years, we have been working hard to transform Daleside into a place where children can enjoy some much-needed respite from the difficult circumstances they face at home. By expanding to Derbyshire, we are in a much better position to support children from across the Midlands and the North of the UK who need our help.

“Sadly, there are an estimated 700,000 young carers in the UK, and more than 1 in 4 children live in poverty, which means there is a huge demand for our work.”

CHICKS supports disadvantaged children from a variety of backgrounds, including those living in poverty, young carers, children who have been abused, bereaved or bullied and children from military families. This year, CHICKS is celebrating its 25th Anniversary and has given over 15,000 breaks to children since 1992.

Robert continues: “We were honoured to welcome His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex to officially open the new retreat. This is a hugely exciting time for CHICKS and it’s great to be able to celebrate our new place in the community in Derbyshire.”

The Earl of Wessex received a tour of the retreat and met some of the children CHICKS supports, even painting a plate with the children, which will be displayed at the retreat. He was also introduced to a number of the funders who helped make the Daleside retreat a reality. The visit ended with the unveiling of a plaque to commemorate the official opening.

To find out more about CHICKS, visit www.chicks.org.uk.