We have many examples of families in great hardship who have benefited from our help. Here are just a few.
Please note that while all these stories are true, some details have been changed to protect confidentiality, and images are for illustration purposes only.
Teenage daughter Sophia is particularly affected and frustrated by the change in her situation, leading to angry outbursts. Sophia has low self-esteem and was bullied at her previous school. Now she feels even more helpless and her school work is suffering. Mum wanted time for the family to rebuild their relationships.
On returning from their seaside break, Mum said: “The holiday meant my daughter and I became more open with each other. We became less stressed and we were able to evaluate our lives.” Their social worker added: “The holiday gave the family time together away from a difficult home situation. The family expressed how much they enjoyed the break. It gave them the chance to be mother and daughter again, to talk and just have a laugh together.”
It was such a painful experience for Dad and the two children, Odean and Ida. Thankfully, the Family Holiday Association was able to offer the family a much-needed break, and time to come to terms with their bereavement.
On their return, Dad said: “We needed this holiday so much with the loss of my wife last year. My children are more relaxed and are doing well at school. I would like to thank everyone who made our holiday happen.”
Family stories: Mum Lily suffers with an illness that affects her confidence to do things day-to-day…
Lily has limited life experiences and finds it difficult to have fun on days out with her children. Besides, the family simply cannot afford to have a proper holiday. Lily knew that taking the children away on her own would be challenging, but it was a challenge she wanted to face for their sake. A trip to the seaside was just what the family needed.
Social worker Kelly told us: “I don’t think Lily realises how much confidence she has gained by taking the children on holiday. A year ago she wouldn’t even leave her house. The girls had a fabulous time.”
Mum Erin takes the challenges of looking after her son in her stride, but she struggles with bouts of depression caused by bereavement and domestic violence in her past. The family suffers from the anti-social behaviour of local youths, increasing their feelings of isolation within their community. Tomos and Erin needed to get away, particularly as they had not been on holiday before.
Social worker Kirsty from the Innovate Trust told us: “Mum and son had never had a holiday together so it was a very positive experience. Mum was anxious about going away for the first time, but the charity was very understanding and helpful.”
We are needed more than ever
Millions of children living in Britain today have never seen the seaside, let alone been on holiday. While we can never help them all, we can still make a difference.