Milestone for local charity

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A local charity has moved a step closer to turning its dream into a reality.

An artist’s impression of the completed Ellie’s Haven

Ellie’s Haven has completed the purchase of a property in Duloe, just outside Looe, which it intends to turn into a relaxing environment offering free holidays to families of children suffering long term and life limiting illnesses.

“This is a big breakthrough for us,” said Julie Libby, who founded Ellie’s Haven with her husband Nigel almost five years ago, naming the charity after their daughter Ellie, who was born with a complex medical condition and sadly died earlier this year, a few weeks before her seventh birthday.

“We’ve spent almost five years striving to create a special place for special children. It started as a dream and now it’s turning into a reality.”

The charity plans to extend the house, adding a circular relaxation area and a new entrance that will link it with the garage, which will be converted into a multipurpose hall. The existing interior will be modified and fitted out with equipment to suit the requirements of severely disabled children with parents or carers.

The preliminary design, by architect Andrew Thomas of AHT Design, received planning permission in April. Conversion work is expected to cost about £260k.

“We’ve raised almost £420k since we started Ellie’s Haven in November 2007,” Nigel Libby added. “We have been amazed and humbled by the huge support we’ve had, much of it from the general public and local schools, community groups and businesses.”

Nigel and Julie Libby outside the purchased property

The property, currently called ‘Home Park’ and to be renamed ‘Ellie’s Haven’, cost £387.5k. Caunters Solicitors of Liskeard handled the conveyance and waived its fees in support.

The charity will need to raise a considerable additional sum – around £250k – before it can start construction work. The trustees hope to raise this within two years so that Ellie’s Haven can start offering free holidays by the spring of 2015.