Joan Laurance honoured with Lifetime Achievement Award
Family Holiday Association co- founder Joan Laurance has posthumously been awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2019 British Travel Awards. Joan passed away earlier this year on February 23rd at the age of 98.
British Travel Awards’ chairman Roger Allard and finance director Chris Photi presented the award to Joan’s daughter Pauline Laurance and her cousin Sarah Robson at the annual awards ceremony. Speaking from the stage Chris Photi said: “The British Travel Awards, on behalf of the UK travel industry and more than 120,000 children, is proud to posthumously recognise Joan Laurance for her services to charity.”
Joan Laurance founded the Family Holiday Association with husband Patrick in 1975. Inspired by the joy and much-needed respite that a holiday with their own young family had given them, the pair set out to launch a charity that provided breaks to families struggling with issues such as disability, severe and sudden illness, bereavement, poverty, mental health issues and domestic violence. Families are referred to the Family Holiday Association by professionals in the community including teachers, social workers, health visitors and other charities.
Joan was always adamant that to have a break away together is something every family should be entitled to, regardless of circumstances. Since it was founded the charity has helped more than 120,000 children and their families go on a local day trip, enjoy a short break at the British Seaside and create lifelong memories.
Joan’s daughter Pauline Laurance said: “My Mum, Joan Laurance, would have been so excited to be awarded the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award in the British Travel Awards!
“Why? Because of her lasting memory of the donkeys, on the beach at Lytham St Anne, on the day trip to the sea with her mum and dad, as a small child, before her dad died … She knew how stressful it was to not have enough money and how much it helped my family when a friend lent his flat in Southend for a family holiday when I was small.
“My Mother was determined throughout her life to support and improve the lives of others, especially those under stress and by choosing her as the recipient of this award she would know that the travel industry will continue to support and build on her work, to make holidays a reality for all!”