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Over two million children live in families who cannot afford a day trip to the seaside – far less a simple holiday. The Family Holiday Association works to help disadvantaged families get that much-needed break away from home.


Our Work:


Referring Families:

The Family Holiday Association is a charity that provides short breaks in the UK for children and their families. These are families that face daily hardship made worse by the likes of illness, bereavement or disability. We offer those families in difficult circumstances a much needed break.   Our grant round is now closed for holidays in 2014. We will be accepting applications for holidays in 2015 from November this year. When we are open, we can only accept applications from referring agents and not directly from families. If you are a family wishing to make an application, please approach someone who works with your family and ask them to refer you in November.  

Latest News

Archive Footage Discovered

11 September 2014
Esther Rantzen opens 1979 Street Fair
The Family Holiday Association started life as a local North London charity helping families in the Barnet area. Started by Pat and Joan Laurance in 1975, the charity initially depended for income on local events such as their annual Hill Close Street Fair. Pat and Joan were very successful at getting celebrities to come along and open the event and in 1979 Esther Rantzen and family agreed to do the honours!


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Great North Run 2014

09 September 2014
The sun shone on the Tyne for this iconic event
Sunday 7th September saw our first of this autumn’s half marathons take place, in the shape of the Bupa Great North Run. Starting in Newcastle, over 55,000 runners compete in this iconic event and this year was extra special, as the race was the first of its kind to see its millionth finisher!
Static caravan

Charity Ambassador seeks £40,000 to fund new caravan!

05 August 2014
Roger Allard appeal reaches almost £28,000!
Charity Ambassador has set his colleagues a challenge to raise the £40,000 needed to buy and service a new sea-side caravan for the Family Holiday Association. You can help too!

Barnardos report sparks media interest

26 August 2014
Director interviewed by local BBC radio
The children's' charity, Barnardos, launched a report on the numbers of children missing out on a day trip to the seaside which resulted in a great deal of media interest. The Family Holiday Association's director John McDonald was interviewed by BBC local radio for his comments on the report. Listen to the report here.

Two Boys

Hundreds enjoy the Big Weekend for first time!

01 June 2014
Great success for Visit Kent pilot programme
Over 400 children and parents took advantage of Visit Kent's Big Weekend pilot programme at the end of March to enjoy a range of visitor attractions across the county.


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First Laurance Paper launched

15 May 2014
Comparative study looks at what support is provided in the UK, in the rest of Europe and beyond.
Commissioned in 2013 from Dr Scott McCabe of Nottingham University, this new study investigates current trends in Europe and elsewhere. It analyses how social tourism already works in practice, with a comparative analysis of all 28 EU countries.