Breaks Are Back!
When we cancelled our breaks last year, we did so with heavy hearts, knowing families like Charlie’s and Lauren’s were struggling already. We knew the pandemic would make it worse for them.
The good news is that we’re back and already making an impact on families who need us the most. Just as we have always done.
We’re fortunate that people like you believe in what we’re here to do and continue to support us.
Because of generous people like you continuing to support us with donations and leaving us Gifts in their Wills, the Family Holiday Association is still here today and able to support families when they need us more than ever.
“It’s been full of lows, with not many highs”.
These words are Charlie’s. We spoke to her as she prepared for a trip to one of our caravans, and she was telling me what the last 18 months has been like for her.
Struggling with PTSD, anxiety and depression, Charlie has a very real fear of harm coming to her family. An invisible virus like Covid is all her worst fears come true. Her second child, a premature little baby, born right before the pandemic hit, spent her first months in neonatal intensive care. Her eldest daughter is being assessed for additional needs. Keeping everyone safe has been a challenge, on top of Charlie’s very real fears for her family.
Charlie was terrified as she prepared to go away but determined to manage her anxieties so her children could have their first paddle in the sea. Charlie sees this break as a milestone – the first ever holiday for her little family – in her determined journey of recovery and making sure her family has what it needs.
“We’ve been doing our best to get through this with a smile on our face and staying positive for the girls”.
Lauren and her girls were also off on their first ever family holiday at the end of May.
Lauren’s youngest child is in and out of hospital weekly, struggling with a life-limiting condition. Shielding her while trying to keep her treatment regimen while in lock-down has had an impact on everyone. Lauren’s older daughter, just 4, needs constant care as she has epilepsy and can have a fit at any time. So far, treatments are not working. The family live together in temporary accommodation now, but Lauren and her children started the pandemic homeless, and living in a cramped caravan. It was a challenge. But as Lauren says, she and her family “have been doing our best to get through this with a smile on our face and staying positive for the girls”.
The family break by the sea is something that they were all excited about – a break away from hospitals, shielding and a chance for the girls to feel normal and do some normal little girl things. Lauren was a little more nervous as she has a phobia of sand but was determined to enjoy the break all the same!
The break is being seen as a turning point for Lauren and her family too – when they get back, they are moving into a more permanent home and will be able to put a few of the struggles of the past few years behind them, to focus on making sure their family is safely cared for.
Thank you for being such an important part of this journey.