Founder Ali Waterworth started the charity after her son Ruddi developed a rare cancer at six months old. He needed a year of intensive treatment, including three months in America, which took a huge toll, emotionally, physically and financially on the family.
A charity provided them with a much-needed week away in a caravan to recharge their batteries and it was here that Ruddi took his first steps. Mum-of-four Ali vowed to offer the same support to others and launched a fundraising drive in 2011. This was in spite of Ali going bankrupt because of the pressures of Ruddi's illness. She says: "I know it sounds silly but that week was a game changer for us. It meant everything."
The first eight-berth static caravan at Primrose Valley holiday park in Filey, East Yorkshire, opened in 2012, donated by supporter and now trustee David Firth, with National Lottery funding helping to buy a second caravan in 2013.
Families apply to the charity for a break, which is usually over a weekend or short week, with full weeks available outside of school holidays. The park is close to a hospital, should families need one.
Eligibility has expanded from families with a child having treatment or recovering from cancer, to those with life-limiting illnesses, a parent who has been sick or children dealing with bereavement, and now dementia sufferers and their families.
- Meet Ruddi #rudolph or #christmas #cake call to order 01484766886 @ Ruddi's, The Vintage Treat… t.co/r5stuN9CGy
- We had a dress down day on Friday to raise money for @Ruddisretreat. Alan's socks were the highlight of the day! t.co/iTLrJwDeYG
- 11 @InterserveLE volunteers gave a day of their time to @Ruddisretreat to enhance RR's offer to the local community… t.co/kmW7ZGZjex
- @Ruddisretreat will be joining us at the Centre on Saturday and you will not want to miss out. Find them in the pop… t.co/vTGVmvO6W1
- Ruddi's are having a #popupshop in the Packhorse Huddersfield. Saturday 7th October @ Ruddi's,… t.co/YZ2KadEnyD