How Honeypot can help… Loredana’s story

Honeypot is a fantastic charity that provides respite holidays and on-going outreach support to young carers and children at risk. The charity supports around 1000 children every year, all aged between 5 – 12 years. At a recent Honeypot event an inspiring lady called Loredana read out her story in her own words:

‘My name is Loredana and I consider myself to be one of the luckiest children in the world.. No I never got the chance to go to Disneyland, no I didn't get a Barbie Dream House, or get tickets to see the Spice Girls in concert... I got to go to a house. Not just any house, a house with surrounded by fields, with a family  dining table covered with plaid cloth, a fireplace, a pool, a shed full of mountain bikes, a craft shed with all the glitter a girl could dream of, a living room with a video player and bean bags... And that was just the beginning...

Before I continue down the path of awesome Honeypot nostalgia, a bit about me. I'm the 3rd of 5 kids. I grew up in a refuge and a hostel respectively, escaping domestic violence. My mother who is disabled and couldn't work, struggled to give us what we as kids wanted toys, CDs, a pony those kinds of things. Me and my brother, who came to Honeypot with me, spent a lot of our time helping our mum with chores and shopping, as her disability hindered her from doing a lot of those things without our help.

In 1998 we joined a young carers club, to give us a break from things going on at home. We got to visit and do many things we couldn't do with our mum because of financial reasons - going to the farm, cinemas, pizza hut, the little things. It was late in 98 we were told we were going to Honeypot... I didn't know what it was but anything to get me out of the house I was excited for.

We'd never seen the country, it was like a dream. The hills, the tiny houses and the cows! Lots of them... We were told we were getting nearer... We drove over a cattle grill and up a winding path and in the distance a little house stood. I couldn't believe my eyes! Little old me from a one room hostel, going to a mansion! I couldn't believe it! We all pressed our noses against the window and was greeted by the lady all Honeypot kids know and remember as THE best - Claire.

Those few days were full of lots of things, many wonderful first experiences - seeing the ocean, baking a cake in the kitchen, sitting round the table eating spaghetti hoops,  watching George of the jungle and having hot chocolate. It's those things that children crave. The simple things.

Honeypot provides a "home" for children who may not find that in the real world. It provides respite to the kids who work 24hrs a day caring for a family member, most of all it provides a safe environment where kids can be just that.

As a child I struggled with the real world - no money, no luxuries, and so made up stories, sang and entertained myself, and thankfully there was always a Honeypot staff member who would listen to my singing, or answer my many random questions... To this day I still love trivia.

My point is that Honeypot has affected me in such a way that I'm always drawn back, I'm always retelling my stories from my time at Honeypot. I still have the cards and the presents they'd send on every birthday and Christmas. No matter what was going on in my life, where I moved, Honeypot never forgot about me. They never forget a child.

Personally I think that a lot of people fail to realise that children experience in their childhood is what makes them as an adult, everyone of you in audience are how you are because of a person who interacted with you, a friend, in my case - a charity who gave up their time to give me some normalcy in my childhood.

After revisiting Honeypot house back in 2006 I knew what I wanted to be  - I wanted to work with kids, and be someone that they would remember when they're all grown up. I've worked in the U.S for four years with children at a summer camp for the privileged and underprivileged alike. I applied to volunteer at the house this summer and I'm now studying to be a primary teacher and thank Honeypot for being the driving forces in making that decision.

Please support this charity because without them, I wouldn't be half as amazing as I am today. You have the power to help change a child's life!’

CVS are continuing to work in partnership with this fantastic charity. For more information on Honeypot, please visit the website to find out more.

These words and opinions are those of the writer and not necessarily those of Computershare Voucher Services

CVS staff raise over £800 for The Honeypot Children’s Charity

Last month, six members of staff set off for Mt. Snowdon in their bid to raise £750 for our charitable partner, The Honeypot Children's Charity. Michelle Lloyd tells us how they got on. Our alarms were set for 5:00am on the Saturday morning so we were ready to leave Lichfield at 6:00am and start the long journey to Snowdon.

As the sun started to come up en-route the weather looked promising – clear blue skies, a few clouds and the sun was shining. Even when we hit Wales the weather held up and our spirits were high. However, as Snowdonia Park appeared on the horizon our spirits were soon dampened by the dark low clouds covering them and all we could do was hope that the sun would break through as the morning went on.

We got to the foot of Mt Snowdon at 8:45am and, within 10 minutes of being out of the car, were soaking wet and being battered by the wind. Unfortunately we had a little wait for one of our team members who got held up in traffic. When we finally set off at 10:00am, we looked like we’d walked up and down the mountain once already!

We set off at a quick pace to try and make up some time; persevering whilst the wind and rain tried to push us back. The walk was hard and after just over a mile, the blustery conditions started to aggravate my asthma. I was struggling to breathe and having to continuously take my inhaler. I tried to continue with Mandi and Keeshak helping me but it soon became clear to me and the rest of the team that I wasn’t going to be able to continue without putting myself at risk. I sadly took the decision to turn back and waved goodbye to the others as I headed back down.

However, Ellen, Mandi, Keeshak, Louise and David continued on their walk, braving the elements and determined to make it the top.


The rain, wind and cloud cover made it really difficult for them to see where they were going and at one point they missed the path and went off route! This meant they were faced with an almost vertical climb to get themselves back on track. Determined not to be defeated they started to pull themselves up the mountain by scrambling back up to the path. The climb was tough and defeated two more of the team who had to turn back, dismayed at having got so close.

This left just Ellen, Mandi and Keeshak to complete the challenge, would they complete it? Could they continue to fight the elements which had only got worse the higher they got?

With great determination and team spirit, the three remaining team members made it to the top in just under three hours. They took a few photos at the top and warmed up with a well deserved hot drink in the café before heading back down.

By the time we met up again in the car park the weather had vastly improved – it’s always the way when walking in the hills! We congratulated the team on a job well done, said our goodbyes and headed home to a nice warm bath!

All in all, the climb was hard, harder than any of us anticipated and the weather was against us from the beginning but three of the team made it to the top and we managed to raise a fantastic £805 The Honeypot Children’s Charity.

Would we do it again? Yes of course! Some of us have refused to be beaten and would love to attempt the climb again next year in the summer months – maybe taking a different path and sticking to it this time!

Family Fun at the Lichfield office!

It’s National Family Week this week and we celebrated – albeit a little early – with a Family Fun Day at the Lichfield office last Friday! The Honeypot Playbus came to visit and employees brought their children along to make the most of the break in the weather and activities on the bus.

The bus is packed full of games, toys, arts and crafts and spends its’ time travelling to see children who are in between stays at Honeypot House. The team – Ray, Leanne and Jackie – took time out of their busy schedule to come along to our afternoon event and help us find out more about Honeypot House as well as keep the children entertained!

Alongside activities on the bus we ran several fundraising events including name the teddy, a raffle, cake stall and tuck shop; we even auctioned off a day in a Ferrari! In total we managed to raise a fantastic £580 to support the great work Honeypot does.

Check out this video from the event:

And here’s a few pics of the fun:

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National Family Week runs until 5th June and is the biggest annual celebration of family life in the UK in which a whole host of family activities take place across the country. To find out how you can get involved, or for activities near you, check out their website.

A day in the life of…a child at Honeypot – Harrison and Lucy

[caption id="attachment_487" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Honeypot House, New Forest"][/caption]The week after Rhiannon had her first break at Honeypot House, brother and sister Harrison (5) and Lucy (10) got to go to the New Forest for their first holiday. Clare Holloway, Children’s Services Manager at Honeypot, tells us about their time at the house. Harrison and Lucy live with their birth parents. Their mother suffered a serious head injury when she fell from an upstairs window whilst sleep walking which has resulted in her having difficulty with walking, communication and caring for her children. She was in hospital for over seven months and their father gave up work to care for them.

Harrison was only 14 months old when the accident happened and has only known his Mum this way. He helps out at home by getting her things when she needs them. Lucy has supported her father both emotionally and physically since the accident; she helps to take care of her brother and mother and appears much older than her years. Their father has returned to work (part-time) as his wife now has a carer to help with personal care.

Whilst the children were at Honeypot House they enjoyed playing outdoors with new-found friends, riding bikes, jumping on the trampolines, splashing around in the swimming pool and making a wish cake. They spent a day at Moors Valley Country Park where they were able to climb under and over obstacles in the forest made from the felled trees and also visited the local children’s theme park.

They returned home to their parents with their Honeypot back-packs stuffed full of goodies like a big Easter egg, a snuggle wrap (cuddly blanket) and prizes they won during a party on the last evening.

This break has allowed the children to be children for a short while without worrying whether they are making too much noise, disturbing their mother, or being on hand to support her in whatever way they can.

These opinions are those of the writer and not necessarily those of Computershare Voucher Services.

CVS to support children’s charity Honeypot

[caption id="attachment_432" align="alignright" width="224" caption="Julian Foster meets Bumble and Richard from Honeypot"][/caption]

I’m thrilled to be able to announce that we’ve recently launched a charitable partnership with Honeypot, a charity that offers a lifeline to young carers and some of the country’s most vulnerable children.

Honeypot is a fantastic charity that provides respite holidays and on-going outreach support to young carers and children at risk. The charity supports around 1000 children every year, all aged between 5 – 12 years.

The programme of long-term support that Honeypot provides gives young people a break from the demanding conditions at home – where some of them are carers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year – and provides a nurturing environment in which they can make new friends, develop their full potential and just be children for a few days.

The team here at CVS will be taking part in a number of activities over the coming year to support the charity, including fundraising, events and volunteering projects that’ll see us getting our hands dirty to help maintain the charity’s premises and gardens!

We’re also sponsoring a group of young carers when they go on their first respite break at Honeypot House – the charity’s residential holiday home in the New Forest – during the Easter holidays.

This partnership is a natural fit for us. Whilst we support families in facilitating childcare, Honeypot work at the other end of the scale; helping young people who are caring for family members.

Myself and the team are looking forward to the year ahead and the opportunity to support the invaluable work Honeypot do for young carers, some of whom have been carers since they were 5 years old.

Keep an eye out for our series of blogs ‘A day in the life of a Honeypot carer’ for an insight into what the team get up to at Honeypot House.

Visit the website to find out more about Honeypot.