THE New Forest branch of Cruse Bereavement Care was delighted to receive £1,500 from the East Dorset Centre of the Caravan Club.

The club chooses two charities to support from a list of nominees every two years, and holds events such as auctions and raffles at weekend caravan rallies to raise money, plus a weekend Ladies’ Rally.

This year the club also held a children’s sponsored walk, bringing in £500, tombola stalls, tea and cake stalls, face painting and a Pea in a Bottle competition (the dropping of a dried pea from a height of 3ft above the neck of an upright wine bottle to see how many a competitor could get in).

Despite its taking place on the wettest weekend of the summer caravaners turned out in force.

At the club’s annual meeting chairman Richard Oxlade presented cheques for £1,500 each to Cruse Bereavement Care New Forest Area and Julia’s House children’s hospice in Corfe Mullen.

Cruse supports between 50 and 60 people a year in the New Forest, and a further 150 across Salisbury and Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.

Its 90 volunteers each support two or three people, visiting them weekly for as long as they need it.

Caravaner Peter Jenkins, a bereavement volunteer and supervisor for Cruse, accepted the cheque for Cruse Bereavement Care New Forest.

It was a letter from a grateful client of Mr Jenkins that persuaded the club to nominate Cruse as one of their chosen charities.

The client wrote: “Thanks to you, after many months off sick, I am now back at work full-time, no longer on medication and able to talk to others about my loss.”

Mr Jenkins said: “Cruse offers free, confidential bereavement support to people of all ages.

“Specially trained volunteers work with children and young people. The money will make a real difference.

“It is estimated that the average cost of supporting each bereaved person is £167 whilst £45 could pay for ongoing training for a bereavement volunteer.”

To contact Cruse email, or call 01425 628375.