A COUPLE have given back to the young carers who spend a huge amount time to help others – by giving them a well earned break.

EuroMillions winners Frances and Patrick Connolly have surprised young carers on Teesside by donating a second respite caravan for them to go and enjoy a welcome break.

The Connollys’ PFC Trust charity, created after winning the lottery to help local communities, initially raised £50,000 as part of its UChangeLives25 fundraising campaign to provide one holiday home for Hartlepool Carers and Stockton’s Eastern Ravens to use.

Mrs Connolly stunned both groups during Carers Week, which took place from June 7 to June 13, by purchasing the second caravan.

They were due to pick up the keys at Parkdean Resorts’ Cresswell Towers Holiday Park this week A selection of young carers from Stockton and Hartlepool will head to Druridge Bay, Northumberland, to get a glimpse of the sort of break they can enjoy - away from the huge number of hours each week they do unpaid to help others.

Mrs Connolly said: “I am overwhelmed by the generosity of the people of Hartlepool, Teesside and beyond. To put such an effort of time, money and support into this at such a difficult time is inspiring and I am proud to have been a small part of the endeavour.

“Patrick and I always intended to buy a second caravan but kept that quiet so as not to overshadow the most impressive part of the challenge which was the monumental effort made by the PFC Trust and all its supporters and friends.

“We thank everyone involved in every way from the bottom of our hearts.”

The initial UC25 fundraising effort – the brainchild of the PFC Trust - saw more than 60 groups and individuals successfully work through a number of sponsored challenges to hit the £50,000 target before an April 2, Good Friday, deadline.

The Connollys have followed that up by significantly contributing towards the second caravan so both Eastern Ravens and Hartlepool Carers have one each and can be shared when required.

Parkdean Resorts have worked to find the perfect spot for the caravans. Cresswell Towers was an ideal location given it is still in the North-East so isn’t too far away from Teesside.