Report highlights the long term benefits of breaks

The enduring positive benefits of breaks, particularly for struggling families, are highlighted in a new report from the Family Holiday Association. The research demonstrates the lasting impact a break away from home can have on challenges facing families such as isolation, mental wellbeing and poor school attendance.

Long Term Impact report

The research surveyed families between six and fourteen months after a short break within the UK provided by the charity. It showed that the positive impact of a break is maintained long after the family come home.

83% of respondents from families who were experiencing mental health issues prior to their break reported that their mental health was still better. Time away from home provides parents in particular with a break from the stresses and strains of daily life and a new perspective on how to cope better once they get back home. These improvements impacted positively on their children with reduced anxiety and stress helping almost two-thirds of families do more together up to 14 months later.

Isolation is another significant issue, affecting around 60% of the families the charity helps. The survey shows that 84% of families reported a sustained improvement, with many seeing significant change in how they engage with their communities and the outside world in general. Relationships with school have also improved and families are feeling more able to access sources of support.

For around 20% of the families the charity helps, school attendance by children is poor prior to their break. Both parents and referrers reported long-term improvements in attendance after the break, with one-third saying attendance was a lot better and half saying that it was a bit better. Comments from respondents describe children being happier and having stories to share with their friends which makes them more likely to attend school.

Download the full report here.

Commenting on the report, John Kinnear, Head of Programmes, said:

“At the Family Holiday Association we believe that increasing access to tourism opportunities can have real and significant benefits for struggling families. It can help professionals and the families they support to build positive relationships that result in better outcomes for families, such as increased school attendance and willingness to seek help.

“We believe that these preliminary findings warrant further study. At a time of stretched public services, access to tourism should be considered alongside other types of social prescribing as a relatively low cost and simple intervention that has tangible and sustainable benefits for families.”

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