Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Late deals for an April getaway...

Now that spring has finally sprung, it's easy to feel inspired to dash away for a refreshing week by the sea or in the country - and we've got some great special offers on holiday cottages during April to tempt you down to the West Country.

There's 30% discount on this delightful coastal retreat for two in the South Hams (pictured above) for the weeks commencing 17th and 24th April, now just £122 per person per week (short breaks also available). High in farmland, a mile from Noss Mayo, this is a perfect base for exploring the nearby beaches and coast path or simply watching the boats sail by on the lake-like River Yealm estuary.

For larger parties, how about this roomy barn conversion on a five acre organic smallholding in East Devon (pictured left) with lovely views across miles of countryside? It sleeps 12 and with 50% discount for the week commencing 23rd April is a snip at £40 per person. There's lots of good walking and plenty to do in the local area and all the homely comforts you need when you just want to relax. If the comments from our holidaymakers are anything to go by, you can expect a warm welcome and a very enjoyable stay here.

Friday, 9 April 2010

Medals galore...

As you may know, Helpful Holidays is proud sponsor of local star Georgina (Gorgs) Geikie, Britain’s number one ladies pistol shooter, for a four year period right through to the 2012 London Olympics.

We caught up with Georgina to hear tales of her recent achievements at the 2010 Commonwealth Shooting Federation Championships in India. Back at her ‘day’ job behind the bar of the 'Ring o’ Bells' in Chagford, Gorgs proudly showed off her four medals - two individual bronzes, and a silver and a bronze in the team events.
"Our hosts looked after us brilliantly and the facilities were world class" said Gorgs, still glowing from her success. The Indian organisers were equally grateful to Gorgs. Having forgotten to arrange flags for all the participating countries they were saved by Georgina who showed remarkable foresight by producing from her bag a St Georges flag bought from a store in Okehampton and it proudly flew at the opening ceremony in lieu of the ‘official’ version. So Gorgs was literally flying the flag for Chagford, Devon, England and the UK (not necessarily in that order).

"I’m going for gold in 2012" she said without a hint of self-doubt. We're so impressed by her determination and right behind her attempts for that gold medal. You can keep up with Georgina's achievements on her website. Next stop, Commonwealth Games in October… go Gorgs!

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Helpful Holidays donates over £60,000 to charity...

We're delighted to announce that we are to donate more than £60,000 to a range of leading charities operating in and around the West Country.

The first four charities to benefit are the Devon Air Ambulance Trust, the Marine Conservation Society, Farms for City Children and the RNLI. Many other regional and national charities will also receive donations throughout the year. ShelterBox, the Cornish based charity famous for its delivery of aid boxes, has already received a donation of £1,000 for its Haiti appeal.

We raised the funds from the VAT saved during the recent ‘VAT holiday’. Rather than taking extra profit or discounting our already published prices, we donated the 2.5 % VAT cut to our charitable fund. Helpful Holidays General Manager, Moray Bowater, said, “The VAT reduction made such a small difference to the cost of an individual holiday but we book over 17,000 holiday cottage breaks each year so we knew those small amounts would soon add up. It seemed a golden opportunity to raise some cash for the charities being hit hard by the recession.”

Each year, Helpful Holidays adopts a charity and invites its holidaymakers to make donations when booking their holidays - this year it is the Devon Air Ambulance Trust. At the end of the year, we match the sum generated by our holidaymakers. In 2009, over £2,600 was donated to the RNLI.