Mystery man sends Rufus and family on free holiday

The Banks family on holiday in Ilfracombe SUS-140513-082755001
The Banks family on holiday in Ilfracombe SUS-140513-082755001

A BOY born with autism, epilepsy and severe learning difficulties was treated to a free holiday with his family in Devon courtesy of an anonymous businessman.

Rufus Banks, nine, and his mum, dad and two sisters, enjoyed a week-long break at a holiday house in Ilfracombe during the Easter holidays.

Now the charity that made it all possible, Trewan Sands, is looking for another family to help next year.

The benefactor who paid for the trip, but wishes to remain anonymous, is prepared to fund a similar experience for one child and their family every year.

Rufus’ mum, Jo, said the family had a great time on their holiday in Cornwall.

“It was really lovely to spend time all together in a relaxing environment” said Jo.

“It was a lovely family holiday.

“We had ice creams every day and Cornish pasties.”

Jo said the family had had fun exploring the Victorian funicular railway nearby and relaxing in the spacious house.

“The kids just ran around the garden, they absolutely loved it,” she said.

“We are utterly grateful for such a great holiday.”

Speaking through the charity, the businessman behind the trip said: “If more people help this trust then more children and families like Rufus and the Banks family will benefit from the wonderful work that Trewan Sands do across the country.

“I am willing to help on an annual basis in this way and I am really pleased that Rufus and his family have had a wonderful time in Ilfracombe”.

A spokesman for the charity, which is based in Heywood in Greater Manchester said: “Trewan Sands would like to say a massive thank-you to the anonymous benefactor in Shoreham and all our loyal supporters who, by pledging, enable us to provide holidays for disabled and terminally-ill children and their families, making the families memories to cherish.”

The charity got in touch with Rufus and his family through a story published in the Herald in October, when the family had raised money for a specialist bike to allow Rufus to enjoy days out.

Any families who want to apply for a funded holiday can download an application form from Trewan Sands’ website at

The charity specialises in arranging holidays and trips for children with illnesses, disabilities and special needs and their families at Haven Holiday sites dotted around the coast throughout the UK.