How we spend our money
In the 12 months to September 2017, the charity spent £1,499,215.
During this period, we provided a short break by the seaside or a simple day trip to more than 4,100 families in hardship. It was the second year running that we helped in excess of 4,000 families.
Our accounting period runs from 1 September to 31 August each year, with audited accounts published in February.
A successful year
In 2017, 4,137 families – comprising 9,411 children and 6,883 adults – benefited from our work. Nearly two thirds of these people had never been on holiday before.
The families we support are referred to us by professionals in the community, as we believe they are best placed to identify the people who will benefit most. Our referral network includes teachers, social workers, health visitors and other charities. In 2017 we worked with more than 1,300 referrers nationwide from 196 local authority areas. That represents 90% of all local authority areas.
The breaks are tailored, as much as possible, to the needs and capabilities of the families. For instance, group trips are organised by voluntary and public-service organisations often as part of a wider project, and tend to involve families who may not be ready to tackle organising a holiday by themselves.
You can find more information on the different ways in which we work with families here.
We always contact referrers and families after their breaks, as their feedback helps us to make any necessary adjustments and continually improve our service. It also enables us to assess the impact our work is having. From speaking to families in 2017, we know that:
- 59% were affected by issues relating to mental health
- 37% had experienced domestic violence
- 30% faced hardship as a result of physical health problems
- 19% had been affected by a recent bereavement
- 11% were victims of crime or antisocial behaviour
Investing for the future
We currently own and operate 15 caravans, situated in eight holiday parks in seaside locations around the country. These caravans ensure we are able to provide accommodation during peak school-holiday periods.
Thanks to some exceptional (and very welcome) donations over the past few years, we have been able to invest in a much-needed web-based booking system. This is now built and operational. As well as making our work speedier and more efficient, it has the potential to increase significantly the number of families we help.
Of our total expenditure in the 2016-17 financial year:
- 77% was spent on direct charitable expenditure, as referred to above
- 22% went towards fundraising and publicity, without which we would be unable to secure income and grow
- 1% was spent on governance.
More information on our income and expenditure can be found in our latest annual review.