VIDEO: Fern Britton hails 'genius idea' to give away free holidays to struggling families
EXCLUSIVE: A scheme to provide free stress-busting holidays for struggling families is being launched in Cornwall this weekend – with a little help from TV favourite Fern Britton.
Standing barefoot in the sand at Mother Ivey's Bay, near Padstow, the This Morning and Strictly star recalled her own family's many happy times there – describing a family holiday as "not a luxury but an essential".
The aim of the scheme is to encourage caravan-site own-ers across the UK to offer one per cent of their potential annual bookings to the needy – absolutely free of charge. It is being pioneered by Patrick Langmaid, who has already begun offering free breaks at Mother Ivey's and hopes to roll out the concept to park owners up and down the land.
"I really do believe this idea has huge potential to make a positive contribution across the community," he said. "I want to get as many operators on board and make a real difference to people's lives."
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Fern, who has given her full support to the initiative, has long links with the South West and began her TV career at Westward TV. Having stayed at Mother Ivey's Bay for more than ten years, she said she and her four children knew how lucky they were to have had happy holidays in Cornwall. "You can't put a value on it," said Fern. "This is a genius idea and I hope many, many holiday parks up and down the country join in."