A magical week by the sea
It only takes a few clicks of your computer mouse and you can help a charity that is a lifeline for families.
Yesterday, the Mercury launched its Christmas Appeal, which aims to raise £65,000 for Leicester Children's Holiday Centre, in Mablethorpe.
The charity sends hundreds of youngsters who would not normally enjoy a summer break to the seaside holiday home every year.
But it needs money to revamp its boiler and central heating system.
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Among those to have benefited from the charity are John Fuller and Alison Booth, of Eyres Monsell, Leicester, who have enjoyed stays at the centre with three of their children.
Dad John, 53, is well aware of the benefits after spending a fortnight at the centre when he was seven.
John said: "I remember going on the beach and having a good time. There were seven children in the family and mam and dad couldn't afford holidays.
"The food was nice and I made a lot of friends."
John, who is learning to read, was able to fill in the application for his sons to visit the centre with the help of a neighbour.
Eldest son Lewis, 10, has visited the centre three times, eight-year-old Mark twice and seven-year-old Reggie made his first visit there in the summer.
Younger sons Luke, six and five-year-old Aaron hope to visit in future years.
Lewis said: "I like it when we get on the beach and buying sweets."
Mark said: "It's fun. The best bits are when you go in the coach and when you play."
John said: "The boys are always full of it when they come back, telling us about going to the circus, on the rollercoaster and the train that goes on the sand.
"At home they squabble a lot, but they all stick together when they're there.
"A lot of people in Leicester can't afford holidays. If I was better off, I would give towards the charity.
"If the charity wasn't there, we'd struggle to give the kids a holiday."
Charity chairman Jim Roberts said: "Children have a right to a proper childhood.
"Many children live difficult lives for many reasons. We provide a magical week of childish fun in a safe environment by the sea."
Money has already started rolling in, with a dinner and raffle at Boboli restaurant, in Kibworth, raising more than £1,900.
Last night, Leicester Barbershop Harmony Club handed over a cheque for £250.
Reading yesterday's launch piece also prompted Mercury reader Eric Pole to offer support.
Mr Pole, 76, of St Saviour's Road, in the city, who has pledged £20, said: "It's a tremendous charity. I had a holiday there when I was 10.
"There were 13 of us in my family. I'd never had a holiday or seen the sea. There was plenty to eat. I still remember it."
The charity is also staging A Celebration of Christmas at the Guildhall, Leicester. on Thursday, December 6 at 7pm.
Tickets at £15 each to include a glass of mulled wine or soft drink, entertainment and buffet supper are available by calling Lynne on 0116 251 9863, in the morning.