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Don's Melody Makers

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Registered charity no. 289289

Ipswich Holiday Help for Children


In the 1960s, when Europe was still recovering from the war, Maureen and Don Kitt brought European children to Ipswich for holidays. Gradually they realised that Ipswich and Suffolk had fallen behind many parts of Europe, and decided to reverse the flow! They took deprived children from Ipswich on holiday to Europe, by car and bus, sea and air, enlisting other volunteers to help them.

As travel became more complex, and regulations more onerous, they raised money to make grants rather than actually organising holidays themselves. IHHC had become a registered charity in 1984. The money was raised in two main ways: from the legendary Air Film nights at the Ipswich Film Theatre, which took place for over 25 years, and from concert parties given by the Melody Makers.  Maureen died in 1999, but Don continued to run the charity until 2010, being awarded the MBE for his work in 2009. He died at the end of 2011.

Sadly the film nights no longer take place, but Dons Melody Makers are still available to give performances.  The major source of funds is now generous people in Suffolk.  Wed be delighted if you were to become one of them.

Chris and Kate have not been on holiday for ten years - so their two younger children have never been on holiday. Kate works a few hours a week but Chris, with no skills, has had no luck finding a job.

The family were on the slide but, with the help of their health visitor, are getting back on track. IHHC paid for them to take a week's caravan holiday in Skegness.

Sean, 18, has severe autism and is a weekly boarder at a residential school. His aggressive behaviours have increased drastically in recent months, and he has attacked his parents. Dad is suffering from stress, and needs even more than usual to have his annual break with friends in the north of England, but won't leave Mum on her own with Sean. IHHC paid for carers to look after Sean and take him to activities at the weekend, to help keep the family stable and together.

giving kids a break