How we spend our money
In the 12 months to September 2019, the charity’s total expenditure was £1,498,067, with 78 pence in every £1 spent on helping families get a break.
During this period, we provided a short break or day trip to 4,821 families.
Our accounting period runs from 1 September to 31 August each year, with audited accounts published in February.
A successful year
In 2019, 4,821 families – comprising 10,641 children and 7,836 adults – benefited from our work.
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 2019 we had nearly 5,800 referrers registered nationwide and received applications from 88% 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.
The difference it made
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 2019, we know that:
- 59% were affected by issues relating to mental health
- 42% struggled with isolation
- 29% had experienced domestic violence
- 25% faced hardship as a result of physical health problems
- 18% were young carers
- 14% had been affected by a recent bereavement
More information on the impact can be found here.
Investing for the future
We currently own and operate 13 caravans, situated in nine 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 was successfully launched for the 2018 season and as well as making our work speedier and more efficient, it has given us the ability to increase significantly the number and types of breaks we can handle, and therefore the number of families we can potentially help.
Of our total expenditure in the 2018-19 financial year:
- 78% was spent on direct charitable expenditure, as referred to above
- 21.5% went towards fundraising and publicity, without which we would be unable to secure income and grow
- 0.5% was spent on governance.