Willerby teams with Ant & Dec to honour inspiring teacher
THE RETIREMENT DREAMS of a retired teacher from Wigan have come true, thanks to leading UK manufacturer Willerby and Saturday Night Takeaway stars Ant & Dec.
“Inspirational” Kath Crawley, 60, was gifted with a new luxury holiday caravan by Willerby when she appeared on the hit Ant & Dec show earlier this year.
And this month, the stylish leisure home, complete with all mod-cons, was officially handed over to Kath at Avon Wood Holiday Home Park on the shores of Windermere.
She was put forward to the hit TV show by her colleagues and pupils at St Thomas’ CE Primary School in Wigan, and by Kath’s’s daughter Becky, in recognition of her selfless service during her 32-year career there and commitment to her local community.
Kath has had a family base at Avon Wood in Newby Bridge for more than 50 years and, having retired in July, she is now enjoying her new two-bedroom Willerby Brookwood at the picturesque location.
She said: “It’s hard to put into words what this means to me. The sentimental side of it is absolutely massive because, as a family, we can carry on something that my grandma Maud started 52 years ago.
“I absolutely love my new holiday home and the park. We can now come here as a family for at least the next 20 years thanks to Willerby, the park owners Andrew and Christine Morris, and everyone involved. I can’t thank everybody enough.”
ITV approached Willerby for the giveaway as the UK’s holiday homes brand leader, and the Willerby team pulled out all the stops to help make the surprise happen live on the primetime TV show.
The Willerby Brookwood sleeps up to six people and features a comfortable open-plan lounge, spacious kitchen and stylish breakfast bar.
Kath said the design of her caravan is perfect and she plans to spend as much time as possible in her new home-from-home with her partner, Paul, and other members of her family.
She said: “It’s truly amazing how much more modern and spacious it is compared with our previous holiday home. The furnishings are lovely and it’s so light and airy.
“It’s double glazed and has central heating, which is a first for me and means it is fully accessible whatever the weather. Our previous holiday home was single glazed and had just a gas fire.
“Retirement is a new chapter. I’ll be able to go up to the holiday home more, do more walking and maybe take up canoeing. We now have a lovely base to do all of that from.”
Willerby’s Southport sales and showground manager Shane Smith visited Kath at her new holiday home to hand over a Willerby Owners Club welcome pack and a celebratory bottle of champagne.
Shane said: “It was fantastic to meet Kath and wish her a very happy retirement in her new Willerby holiday home. She has given so much to so many over the years and it’s lovely for her to receive something very special in return.
“We hope Mrs Crawley and her family enjoy many happy years in their Willerby Brookwood and we’re delighted to know it suits their needs and tastes perfectly.
Andrew Morris, owner of the family-run Avon Wood, worked with Lake District holiday home distributor Kendal Caravans to ensure Kath’s previous holiday home was removed before the Brookwood was sited, including installing the decking area.
Andrew said: “For Avon Wood to be on national television and involved in the holiday home giveaway was lovely, but definitely a surreal day at the office. A call from ITV certainly wasn’t something we expected!
“Knowing Kath and seeing her reaction was fantastic. She was gobsmacked and we’re really pleased for her.
“This all happened during the pandemic and for it to go ahead while the holiday home industry is experiencing such high demand is immense. I’ve been on a factory tour at Willerby and know how much goes into making these holiday homes.”
Kendal Caravans ensured Kath’s home arrived in perfect condition and was installed smoothly on site.
Managing director Mark Molyneaux said: “Kath has done so many good things in her career and is so deserving. It was great to be part of the giveaway to help make her retirement more enjoyable.
“Willerby have been brilliant to work with and it’s been a great team effort,” added Mark.