ANTHEA Killen has set out to live her unique French dream and there is a special driving force behind it.
Her daughter, seven-year-old Kirsty, was born with a part of her brain that did not form properly so the active youngster needs 24 hour care.
But Anthea wants to see her daughter and son, Lee, enjoy the open fields and live the countryside life on a farm in Normandy.
“Kirsty has similar problems to those of a child with autism and I want to create a safe place for people with disabilities to come and enjoy the rural life,” Anthea said.
“When Kirsty is outside in the fields running around you can see the difference in her, so she is the reason why we bought a run down farm and ten acres of land.
“I want to create a holiday centre with a difference, a place where families with disabled loved ones can sit back and relax, or join me in mucking out the horses.”
The farmhouse (pictured) has a small gîte nearby, a fishing lake and a large barn and it is along a secluded farm track.
And despite the uniqueness of the project the local French community have been welcoming to Anthea, and her husband Dave’s plans.
“The mayor was very helpful and supportive of what we want to do and a local architect has advised us with plans,” said Anthea.
“And when we have come across, which is every few weeks, our neighbour has popped over with a couple of bottles of beer.”
The farm will eventually be transformed with a swimming pool, farmyard animals, stables and camping facilities all on Anthea’s blueprint.
The idea of which came after going on regular package holidays and seeing people looking at Kirsty because she was acting in a way that drew attention to her, through no fault of her own.
But the Killen family do not have a fortune to throw at the project and are currently renting a house in north Manchester, before moving across in the summer.
Anthea is keen to see the project become a charitable cause and is looking for people to offer help and advice.
“We have sold our house to buy the farm but all the work we will be doing ourselves so I’m looking for businesses to support us in any way possible,” explained Anthea.
“This could be in building materials and labour, and in return they will receive coverage in local newspapers and hopefully on TV as production companies are interested in our story.
“And I’ve already had many people interested in booking a place, with one person saying I’ll take two weeks in August, whichever year you are ready.”
Now though Anthea is busy preparing for the family’s move across when she feels they can finally get at the work and move things along.
“I’ve already told Dave the jobs that need doing, he’s an electrician, so he will have his hands full with some of the wiring we’ve found,” smiled Anthea.
“Now though I am beyond the dream stage and I know I will make this happen.”
Families and businesses that are interested in Anthea’s project can contact her by email…
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