The Oakley Waterman Caravan Foundation was started by Dave and Lorraine Waterman from Gosport shortly before their six-year old son Oakley died of a rare form of cancer called Rhabdomysarcoma in 2005. It was while enjoying precious time together staying in a caravan at Church Farm Holiday Village at Pagham near Chichester that Oakley announced his wish.
He wished that they could purchase a caravan at Church Farm, which he loved so much, so it could also be used by other children, who are suffering with similar life threatening illnesses. Enabling them to enjoy time away from the normal daily routine and hospital scene, to enjoy have a short break with entertainment for the family. So the parents agreed to their sons only wish and with the help of some friends a caravan was purchased at the site in 2005. In 2007 a second caravan was purchased at another Haven site overlooking the sea at Devon Cliffs near Exeter.
In 2002 after many doctors who are dealing with cracked heels and hospital visits and not getting any answers finally an answer came which no one could prepare themselves for. Oakley was diagnosed with Rhabdomysarcoma when a tumor was found in his pelvis. After an operation, chemotherapy and radiotherapy he was remission.
However, eventually the tumor had returned. In 2005 the tumor was found to be inoperable and the foundation was established to fulfil Oakley's wish to stay at Church Farm and for other children to benefit from spending time there.
Dave Waterman, ex Portsmouth FC player who has since retired from his football career says “Running the foundation has helped a difficult situation. It gives you a warm glow to think there are so many kind-hearted people out there. Oakley would be so proud of everybody who has helped us.”
The Oakley Waterman Caravan Foundation is able to offer flexible respite opportunities to children and their families suffering with life-threatening illnesses to help create memories to cherish. But to keep Oakley's legacy going we need to keep on raising funds to keep the caravans and pay for their upkeep which is £ 20.000 per year! In addition to this every ten years the vans need to be replaced to maintain the high quality that the families deserve.
2015 was a great year for our charity that brought lots of new faces and fundraisers. We hope 2016 will bring many more. We have fundraising events going on throughout the year for all ages, so please take a look at our upcoming events and join the fun! If you want to do your own fundraising for us then please let us know by emailing and we will happily send you one of our fundraising packs.
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