Patron – Sir John Evans QPM DL
Our Patron is Sir John Evans, former Chief Constable of The Devon & Cornwall Constabulary; and is a Deputy Lieutenant of the County of Devonshire.
“I am delighted to continue to be associated, as its proud founding Patron, with such a worthy charity as Dream-A-Way which has moved on in leaps and bounds since its humble beginnings on 31 December 1993 at Heavitree Road Police Station, Exeter. Initially established by our Chairman Jeff Merrett MBE and others to help provide holidays and outings for people of all ages with disabilities. The Committee and all helpers continue to work tirelessly as volunteers taking no remuneration or expenses which enables over 99% of what we raise to be devoted to the worthy causes. We have increased our fundraising from £10,000 in 1994 (our first full year of operation) to a regular £120,000 – £150,000 annually. Our total fundraising has now exceeded two million pounds.
However, much more important, is what has been done with that money. In 2000, I was pleased to open our first holiday home purchased at Haven Holiday Park, Sandy Bay, Exmpouth. In that first year, 140 disabled people and their carers made use of the facilities. In 2016 we were able to purchase our 9th caravan and welcome our 10,000th guest to the site. Additionally, more than 1,000 families have been given a grant towards their dream holiday and over 5,000 guests have been taken on coach trips to the theatre, theme parks, sports venues, events in London and even the popular magical mystery tours throughout Devon.
There have been so many memorable occasions in the past 23 years but, none more that the recognition the charity has received by, first, the award of an MBE to our Chairman Jeff and then, in 2008, with the award for the charity as a whole of a QAVS (Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service) which is the equivalent of an MBE to an individual.
I hope you will find the contents of this web site interesting and informative. However, none of it would have been possible but for the support of our sponsors, supporters and those who give generously to help fund the causes. If you feel able to help in any way whatever, please contact a member of the committee whose details are given in the following pages.”