A FAMILY has been left “devastated” after their specially designed mobility van was stolen as they slept at a holiday park. 

Emma Carpenter has spent the last two weeks with her family at her parents’ caravan in Rockley Park, Poole

The mother-of-seven has three children with disabilities who need a mobility van to accommodate their needs. 

However, she woke up on Tuesday, August 22, to find that their blue Ford Transit van had been stolen.

Bournemouth Echo: The blue Ford Transit van stolenThe blue Ford Transit van stolen (Image: Emma Carpenter)

The 47-year-old said: “We went straight to on-site security and asked to see the CCTV, but we were not allowed, but they said that they will help in any way that they can. 

“We then called the police and Motability (a charity which leases vehicles for disabled people to use) to let them know.” 

Bournemouth Echo: Toby, 11, in his chairToby, 11, in his chair (Image: Emma Carpenter)

Since the van was stolen, Emma said her family has not been able to enjoy a normal holiday and has been confined to the park.

The family had to cancel plans to go to Splashdown at Tower Park and a day trip to Sandbanks.

Bournemouth Echo: The van can be identified by the scratch on the sideThe van can be identified by the scratch on the side (Image: Emma Carpenter)

The van is primarily used by her son Toby, 11, who has M.E. and uses a power chair to get around, with the vehicle having a ramp to allow him to get onboard. 

Emma, who works in a specialist school and who is originally from Bath, said: “It has completely ruined our holiday. Our parents have owned a caravan here since 1994 and we always used to call this our happy place, but we can’t call it our happy place anymore.  

“It’s upsetting for the kids, especially Toby as this is his van; we got it for him, he picked out the colour and it was all for him to choose.  

Bournemouth Echo: Rockley Park (Image by Stephen Bath)Rockley Park (Image by Stephen Bath)

“We are all absolutely devastated about this, we just want our van back on the road and to be able to do things as a family again.” 

A spokesperson for Dorset Police said officers are carrying out enquiries, although no arrests have been made yet. 

They added “Dorset Police received a report at 9.10am on Tuesday 22 August 2023 of the theft of a van from Rockley Park in Napier Road, Poole. The theft occurred between 12.30am and 9am on the same day.”