Sam’s Club is our way of welcoming children to the English Lakes family of hotels. Children aged 5 to 10 each receives a goody bag to keep them entertained during their stay at the hotels. During school holidays we have our Sam’s Splashtime at Low Wood Club and Sandpiper Club, where we provide Sam’s pool inflatables and toys. We also have nature walks and craft activities at various times and different locations around the group. Sam makes appearances now and again to welcome the children in person – you just never know when he might pop up!
Originally, Sam was the Bearded Collie and constant companion of our previous Chairman and Managing Director, Michael Berry.
For over ten years we have had a fluffy toy version of ‘Sam’ in each room of the hotels. Sam is available to purchase from Reception and proceeds from these sales has been gifted to local children’s charities, including children’s hospices in Cumbria and Lancashire.
Now an exciting new initiative is being launched through our Sam’s Children’s Menus which will directly support children in some of the poorest parts of the world. A proportion of selected children’s meals will be sent directly to The Good Shepherd orphanage in Tenali, India and Open Arms International in Kenya, Africa.
Sam’s Charity Giving in India
Tim Berry, Estates Director, and his wife Janette recently visited The Good Shepherd Orphanage in India. They have supported this work for a number of years and have become friends with John Kishore and his family who run the orphanage. Over the years John has taken in children from the streets who have lost their parents through disease or abandonment. Their ‘family’ now extends to over eighty orphans and 24 widows. Our contributions will help to feed and shelter these vulnerable young people.
Sam’s Charity Giving in Africa
Open Arms International is a charity that English Lakes have supported since 2010, when we raised £45,000 to build and equip an orphan home for 16 children and two sets of house parents within the Open Arms village.
Elliot Berry, the son of English Lakes Chairman and Managing Director, works alongside Open Arms, both at the Village and in the Kambi Teso slum close by where Open Arms runs a feeding programme four days a week. The feeding programme provides a nutritious hot meal for up to 300 young people who would otherwise be left to fend for themselves, many becoming addicted to glue sniffing in order to stave off hunger pangs.
In both The Good Shepherd orphanage and Open Arms, we have seen first hand how giving a little can make such a real difference to young lives. It was a delight to Skype recently with some of the children we support from the Open Arms village and to hear them talking excitedly about ‘what they want to be when they grow up’. A future made possible in some small way by the little we are able to give.
- Written by +Tina Taylor