The Family Holiday Association employs a dedicated team of core staff covering programme, fundraising and administration.
Meet the team
Martin Realey - Chief Executive open accordion arrow
Why I love my job: I love being able to make a real difference to the lives of many who deserve a break in life, an opportunity, a chance to unwind and enjoy each other’s company. I wish my family had known of our charity when I was a child.
Most cherished holiday memory: Being on the Isle of Wight with my Grandad in the Summer. Taking the Vectis bus from town to town and being given a bag of 2ps to play on the arcade machines.
Favourite destination: Hmmmm. Tricky. It has to be between Woolacombe Bay and Croyde. The difference being whether I am taking a surf board or the dog.
Favourite holiday activity: Anything in the water really. I would be a massive fraud to say surfing. More crashing through waves and being flung in to the open sea; I’m that bad! But anything that involves getting wet; notably snorkelling and scuba if the opportunity arises.
Favourite ice cream: Raspberry Ripple. Every time. Why would you choose anything else?
John Kinnear - Head of Programmes open accordion arrow
Most cherished holiday memory: Lying in bed at my gran’s on the east coast of Scotland on winter’s mornings, listening to the sound of geese flying overhead – they sounded so mysterious
Favourite holiday activity: Exploring new places and going for walks
Favourite ice cream: 99 with raspberry sauce
James Astley - Grants and Projects Officer open accordion arrow
Most cherished holiday memory: Summers at my grandparents’ house in Cheshire. Trying to dam the stream around the back of the village, failing, and getting very soaked! I loved having lemonade and crisps outside the pub on the canal footpath
Favourite destination: Norfolk. Lots of birds, lots of space, huge coastlines without too many people. Or Dorset, for much the same reasons
Favourite holiday activity: Birdwatching, and pub in the evenings
Favourite ice cream: I’ve never been a fan of ice cream. I prefer those iced orange-juice thingies!
Alex Bunney - Partnership Development Manager open accordion arrow
Why I love my job: I know that my day-to-day work is having a positive impact on other people’s lives. I treasure the memories from my own family holidays, and I believe that having time away to relax is something everybody deserves.
Favourite destination: Cornwall, for the beaches with great waves.
Favourite holiday activity: Beach cricket followed by a cold drink on a sun lounger.
Favourite ice cream: Strawberry cheesecake flavour!
Angie Watson - Head of Fundraising and Communications open accordion arrow
Why I love my job: To see the applications come in and be able to make a difference is just wonderful. All the time I hear about the transformation of lives, and that’s just great
Most cherished holiday memory: Going to see my granny in Doncaster. The journey was so exciting, and we would wonder who’d spot the church spire first, as that meant we were nearly there! There was a huge back yard that we would play in with other families… Well, I thought it was huge until I revisited it last year and couldn’t believe how small it was!
Favourite destination: St Ives in Cornwall – the colours of the sea and sand in summer are amazing. In the colder months, my family and I have created some rich memories in beautiful Glen Affric, close to Loch Ness
Favourite holiday activity: Rock pooling. It’s free and fun!
Favourite ice cream: Salted caramel
Michael Smout - Head of Marketing open accordion arrow
Why I love my job: It is tremendously rewarding. No matter how hard things might seem, feedback from the families we’ve helped is very humbling and never fails to deliver motivation and a sense of perspective
Most cherished holiday memory: Family holidays in Pembrokeshire. Endless days building sand sculptures, and playing cricket and football on beautiful sandy beaches. My memory is that the sun always shone (although I’ve seen some of the pictures and it definitely didn’t!)
Favourite destination: I have two: Cornwall and Pembrokeshire. They both offer some of the best sandy beaches around. Great for kids from ages one to 49 (and counting!)
Favourite holiday activity: At least one day spent on the beach and I’m happy
Favourite ice cream: I’m not really a big fan of ice cream. An ice-cold can of pop is much more appealing!
Michelle Shepherd - Events Manager open accordion arrow
Why I love my job: What I love the most is meeting all the inspirational people that support the charity and hearing some of their interesting fundraising ideas. I love working with such a dedicated charity team
Most cherished holiday memory: Going to a Haven holiday park in Norfolk with my family and learning all the words to Rory the Tiger’s kids’ club song – I can still remember some of the words now!
Favourite destination: Swanage in Dorset. My uncle has a place there and, when I was a child, my family and I spent many happy summers there playing on the beach and pottering around the local seaside towns
Favourite ice cream: Has to be the classic 99!
Coral Rushmer - Content Executive open accordion arrow
Why I love my job: Because every day is new – from discovering innovative ways to raise money for the charity to hearing fabulous feedback from the families we help. It really feels like everyone is working together
Most cherished holiday memory: Teaching my younger sister to swim. At first she could only swim underwater and it took a long time to explain to her that you still need to breathe when you’re swimming! It was well worth it as we always played games in the sea after that
Favourite destination: Bournemouth beach, because we used to go every year when I was growing up and we stayed with my great-grandma who lived there. Every time I go back it reminds me of the fun days we all spent there as a family
Favourite holiday activity: Walking on the beach and going in the sea (if I’m brave enough)
Favourite ice cream: Mint choc chip
Patricia Appleby - Head of Finance open accordion arrow
Why I love my job: I have been finance manager for many years, and I enjoy working with people from different sectors. It’s great that together we are bringing a smile to families’ faces
Most cherished holiday memory: Walking in the sea with my dad
Favourite destination: South Devon
Favourite holiday activity: Walking on the clifftops by the sea
Favourite ice cream: Has to be rum and raisin!
Paula McCabe - Finance Assistant open accordion arrow
Why I love my job: It’s great knowing that you’re working for an organisation that’s making such a difference to people’s lives
Most cherished holiday memory: In the evenings, sitting round and listening to my dad regaling us with stories from when he was growing up
Favourite destination: Camber Sands near Rye in East Sussex. My family and I often go there for long weekend breaks and the girls love it!
Favourite holiday activity: Anything that includes my daughters
Favourite ice cream: Lemon ice lolly
Jemma Appleby - Trusts and Foundations Manager open accordion arrow
Why I love my job: Working with my mum Patricia in the finance department gives me a really good overview of how the money raised, in all sorts of ingenious ways, is spent on great-value family holidays for people who really need a break. Seeing the money coming in reminds me just how generous people can be.
Most cherished holiday memory: I love hearing the sound of seagulls. It instantly takes me back to holidays by the seaside; it really feels like I am there again!
Favourite destination: Salcombe in Devon
Favourite holiday activity: It has to be sailing to the beach. Who wants to walk along the coast when you can jump in a boat?
Favourite ice cream: Rum and raisin. Like mother, like daughter…
Izzy Watson - Partnership Executive open accordion arrow
Why I love my job: Every day is different, and it's great to know that our day-to-day work will make a real difference. It's brilliant to give families the chance to create special memories together, as I know how important my childhood holiday memories are to me.
Most cherished holiday memory: Every year, we would visit West Wittering on the South Coast with lots of family friends. We’d spend entire days building sandcastle villages (or attempting to!) and body-boarding in the sea. That memory brings back an overwhelming sense of happiness.
Favourite destination: Studland Bay in Dorset. Beautiful beaches and nearby rolling hills all combined into one!
Favourite holiday activity: Rounders on the beach followed by a barbecue.
Favourite ice cream: Cookie dough. Yum.
Miranda Jude - Grants and Projects Officer open accordion arrow
Most cherished holiday memory: I didn’t get to go on holidays as a child, but I do remember a wonderful day trip to London Zoo with my dad and seeing crocodiles for the first time
Favourite destination: Bournemouth. A lovely beach and great fish and chips!
Favourite holiday activity: Anywhere with the opportunity to eat local cuisine and hear music
Favourite ice cream: Salted caramel flavour
Jane Sheeran - Finance Assistant open accordion arrow
Why I love my job: Because I know how important it is to spend time with the people that you love, and away from stresses that everyday life can bring
Most cherished holiday memory: Any memories of time spent with my daughter automatically give me a smile.
Favourite destination: I have an uncle who lives in Bournemouth so we were lucky enough to be able to go there most summers.
Favourite holiday activity: Building sandcastles and swimming
Favourite ice cream: Lemon and vanilla
Caroline Breed - Senior Trusts and Grants Fundraising Officer open accordion arrow
Why I love my job: I love researching trusts and foundations and writing applications for funding. When the applications are successful, I get a real buzz seeing the difference the money we raised can make to the families we support. Everyone needs a holiday or break away from the stresses of life!
Most cherished holiday memory: When I was 5, me, my 6 siblings and parents had a little holiday at Canvey Island King’s Holiday Park (very close to Southend-on-Sea). As a large family we hadn’t been able to afford to go on holiday before, so I have precious memories including taking part in a talent contest singing ‘Do-Re-Mi’ from the ‘Sound of Music’ but forgetting the words after the first verse!
Favourite destination: For me it has to be Whitstable on the north Kent coast which boasts fabulous sunsets, winding streets, cute alleyways and delicious seafood including the famous Whitstable oysters
Favourite holiday activity: Definitely swimming in the sea
Favourite ice cream: As I’m originally from Southend-on- Sea, it has to be Rossi’s vanilla (the 99 version!)