International Day of Families
We’re celebrating the UN International Day of Families on 15th May, because…
The UN International Day of Families celebrates the vital role of families in society. Family structures and dynamics are changing, and family plays a more important role than ever in shaping society and future generations.
Breaks are a vital lifeline for families facing difficult challenges like bereavement, long term illness, domestic violence and mental health challenges. Time away from the norm gives valuable escape and the space to shape memories and moments that carry us through harder times. Breaks bring people together but also have longer lasting impacts on resilience, confidence, and attitude to the future. Find out more about our impact here.
…Families struggle to afford a break
In 2019, as many as 2.7 million families with dependent children fell into a bracket where they would never be able to afford the valuable lifeline a break could offer them. A recent ONS survey* tells us a more brutal and hard-hitting story from the pandemic – “employed parents were almost twice as likely to report a reduction in income than the general employed population” meaning that “parents [are] less able to afford either a holiday or an unexpected but necessary expense than non-parents”. By current population estimates, that means 12.1 million adults live in households where a break is out of reach.
Your donation could help families like Paula’s
Paula, a lone parent experiencing mental health difficulties, works three part-time jobs: one in the early morning; one in the afternoon; one in the evening. She is also a community volunteer, running play schemes for young children and youth clubs.
Until recently, neither she nor her two children had ever been on any kind of holiday. Like many others in Paula’s situation, she never even thought about going away: it was something only “normal” families did.
Paula’s counsellor contacted us to request a break. When we got in touch with the family, Paula told us:
“I would like to have a family break with my two children before my eldest reaches 18 and leaves the family home.
“I feel that as they are getting older, I am losing touch with them, and the pressure of me having to work three jobs means I don’t always get to spend time with them at home.
“I would also like to give the kids the chance to try new things that they haven’t been able to do as a result of us never having been away.”
With support from the Family Holiday Association, the family spent four nights in a caravan at the Craig Tara holiday park in Ayrshire. While there, they got the chance to bond like never before – swimming together in the pool, having fun with the inflatables and talking about their feelings for the first time.
Paula told us afterwards: “It was so great to be able to enjoy ourselves without me worrying about work and money. We created so many happy memories. Thank you very much to your supporters: it meant so much to me and my children.”
*Personal and Economic well-being in Great Britain (Office of National Statistics, January 2021)