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Happy Birthday Joan
Inspirational Founder turns 97

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Everybody associated with the Family Holiday would like to wish our co-founder Joan Laurance, a very happy 97th birthday!

Joan and her husband Patrick, who died in 2008, launched the Family Holiday Association as a national charity in 1975. Several years earlier they had been struggling to cope with the loss of a daughter who died aged just three months. At this point they were also still trying to get back on their feet after Patrick had lost his job, and found themselves living in a single room with hardly enough money to last the week, let alone go towards a family break. When friends offered them the opportunity of a short break in Southend-on-Sea, it turned out to be an experience they would cherish forever.

Having returned home, the couple felt refreshed. Happy memories of their family break gave them new hope and the resolve to move forward. This got them to thinking, “Could we help others by providing holidays for families in similar situations?” And that’s exactly what they did!

Joan’s passion and spark are undiminished and she remains a true inspiration.

Over four decades after the launch of the charity, the need of struggling families is greater than ever. Her determination to make a difference lives on through the organisation she helped create. As Joan herself commented, “If no one else is going to do it, then we will.”

Joan's birthday