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On the road to recovery

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After months of lockdown and social distancing we are all in need of the joy and hope a break offers.

Which makes it all the more disappointing that so far this year we have not been able to offer breaks. The pandemic and its impacts have forced us, like so many others, to make tough decisions to navigate continuing uncertainty.

To manage the loss of income from events like the London Marathon, we have scaled back expenditure and furloughed valued staff. And we’ve thought hard about our responsibilities, defining five conditions which must be met for breaks to resume.

We’ve been keeping in touch with our referrers to offer our support. They tell us family circumstances have deteriorated. Now they are not only in need of a break, but support with food, mental health and family finances. And they are anxious about the risks posed by the virus.

Our accommodation providers are slowly re-opening after a long period of closure They are working flat out to comply with ever changing guidelines and offer the best possible experience to their guests. But access to facilities will be reduced for the rest of the year.

When we offer a break to a family, we are giving them the chance for new experiences, to explore and have fun. We absolutely do not want to cause or add to anxiety. Or for a break which has been much longed for to be a disappointing experience.

So with heavy hearts we have made the difficult decision not to offer overnight breaks in 2020.

Instead we will turn our attention and resources to 2021. We are already hard at work building a recovery strategy. Our aim is to put the charity in the best possible position not just to survive the pandemic but to overcome the current challenges and transform even more lives in the future.

And in the meantime, families are in desperate need of something to look forward to. So as public spaces gradually open up, we will work with our partners on day trips and new ways to spread a little sunshine in spite of the ongoing barriers we face.

Here’s to building back better together!