A new charity has been set up by Chippenham man Mike Oakes to give affordable breaks to carers and those they look after.

Mr Oakes, 67, came up with the idea when volunteering in the town for the Alzheimer’s Society.

Mr Oakes, who is chairman of the charity Fun4All, said: “By offering affordable, organised fun breaks we aim to ensure that unpaid carers of all ages will realise they are not alone; their situation is not unique and that we care and share together.

“People don’t choose to become carers, it’s thrust upon them.

“I see so many people caring for people and I can see how frustrating it is to not be able to do what you want to do.

“Carers don’t have the same freedoms as we have. They can’t go on holiday, go to the shops readily or attend sporting events.”

Mr Oakes, who as a member of Chippenham Rotary Club was instrumental in running the £710,000 appeal for a hydrotherapy pool at St Nicholas School, Chippenham, believes Fun4All offers a relaxing break including different activities to try and camaraderie with other carers.

The charity has a committee and volunteers who have
considerable experience in running residential breaks in the UK and activities for people of all abilities.

One of them is Muriel Richards, of Corsham, who runs activities at a care home.
She said: “I want to help Fun4All grow by providing a series of fun activities for the members and researching various options for group outings and visits that might be of further interest, in order to foster the feeling of inclusion rather than exclusion.”

The charity will be run on a membership basis costing £15 for three years.
Fun4All has booked its first break at the Hilton Hotel, Swindon, on January 25, 2012, offering three days full board with a packed programme of activities including karaoke, family history, jewellery making, physical therapy, bingo and aqua aerobics. More than 30 people have already booked a place.

Fun4All has negotiated a discount with the hotel and the cost is £120 per person. The charity will pay the cost of all the activities and is holding a fundraising concert at the Neeld Hall, Chippenham, on December 14.

Tribute artists to Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and Karen Carpenter will perform along with Stuart Burnley, a recording artist in the 1960s.

Tickets are £12.50, available from Chippenham Community and Visitor Information Centre.

Mr Oakes, of Wells Close, said Fun4All plans to organise a series of residential breaks, outings and craft workshops for its members.

He said Fun4All is a not for profit charity and is run by volunteers. It has been granted charity status by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs to claim Gift Aid.
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