Out today – Alesha Dixon’s charity Christmas single 

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Today sees the release of Alesha Dixon’s charity single, People Need Love with proceeds coming to the Family Holiday Association. It has been brokered through our friends at TUI. The video was filmed in Lapland last weekend and features some of the children from the Yorkshire families who went on the TUI organised Lapland Trip.

Forty families were given the chance of a lifetime by TUI to enjoy a day trip to inside the Arctic Circle and visit Kittila in the north of Finland. There the children got to feed reindeer, get pulled by huskies, explore the ice hotel and meet Father Christmas at the Snow Village. And everyone was delighted to discover that Alesha Dixon and her crew were coming with them.  Continue reading

The number of children denied even a simple break has increased by a horrendous 25% to 5 million since 2005.

World Travel Market 2015, ExCeL, London – Holidays Matter Conference. John McDonald, Director Family Holiday Association
World Travel Market 2015, ExCeL, London – Holidays Matter Conference. John McDonald, Director Family Holiday Association

The Holidays Matter network held its annual conference at World Travel Market on Thursday 5 November 2015. My opening remarks cited some recent and eye-opening analysis of Office for National Statistics data by Professor David Gordon.

I would like to welcome you to the 4th annual Holidays Matter Conference here in the centre of one of the world’s largest travel trade exhibitions. An appropriate venue for an organisation that sees the travel industry at the very core of its work.

The Holiday Matters network currently consists of some 20 member organisations. Cumulatively these 20 organisations supported 150,000 people access a break last year with an estimated value of £5m. Although the Family Holiday Association has provided the initial support, we see the network and this conference as independent of the charity. It is a means of bringing like-minded organisations together to allow us share, to learn and to explore new avenues of working. That is the purpose of today. Continue reading

Head teachers need to have flexibility to help disadvantaged families take a break

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Embargoed till Monday 26 October 2015

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The Family Holiday Association welcomes today’s debate on term-time holidays in the House of Commons.

The charity believes that holidays enjoyed together make for happier, healthier and stronger families. Unfortunately millions of struggling parents and children in the UK are missing out on any kind of break away from home. Continue reading

Reminiscences and recollections. Forty years on…

Celebration cakeSarah Robson’s house in a leafy north London street was yesterday’s venue for a gathering of current and past committee members of the charity’s North London Friends.  Sarah, the chair of our North London Friends committee, was keen to mark both the charity’s 40th anniversary and the committee’s significant contribution to its work over those four decades.

The charity was conceived in Hampstead Garden Suburb by Pat and Joan Laurance and their first fundraising efforts had depended on the work of local friends and neighbours. After the charity grew to become a national organisation supporting families throughout the UK, the Friends committee carried on raising money locally from street fairs and local raffles. Continue reading

Charity President Peter Long writes in the Huffington Post

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“Family holidays are a priority, not a privilege” Peter Long, Charity President and CEO of TUI Group states in this latest article on the Huffington Post.

I have vivid memories of being a child at the seaside – a particularly prominent and treasured memory involves my whole family. We were on a beach building sandcastles, and my father was handing flags to me to put on the top of them.

I’m sure my own memories will bring many of your own to the surface – the taste of ice cream that trickled down your chin in the heat, the smell of salt on the air, the heat of the sand in contrast to the refreshing sea. For most of us, simple moments like these have created lasting memories.

…it’s often these struggling families that need a break the most

For so many of us coveting such memories, we may find it hard to confront the reality that they are born from a position of privilege. Living in the 21st century in one of the most ambitious and successful economies in the world, it is almost unfathomable to contemplate that at least 1.46 million families – that’s 4.74million people in the UK – can’t get a break away together, even for a simple day trip. Continue reading

Visit Kent partnership helps both families and local attractions

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Watch this short video from Visit Kent to see how our partnership has benefited both local Kent families and attractions. 

I particularly like the comment from Therese Helsop of Canterbury Cathedral who says that by encouraging local people to visit turns Kent residents into ambassadors for local attractions.

This second year of the partnership saw nearly 1,000 local children and parents enjoying a day out that they otherwise would not have been able to afford.

I think this type of partnership has the potential to be replicated across the country. 

SOMETHING TO DECLARE

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By Alison Rice, Chair of Trustees

Holidays matter. They are our lifeline to sanity, a chance to step away from everyday life and reconnect with the people we love; a time to be the real, relaxed us or indeed be whoever we want to be. And once the sand has been washed from the toes, holidays can leave us with a suitcase of life-long happy memories. Continue reading

Glasgow City Council joins the Holidays Matter network.

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On the first day of Glasgow schools’ summer break one of the country’s largest local authorities joined the Holidays Matter network.

Speaking at the City Chambers on Thursday 25 June Cllr. Stephen Curran said “As Executive Member for Education and Young People I am committing the Council to signing up to support the Holidays Matter network. Given that our schools broke up for the summer holiday period on Wednesday afternoon, I thought it was an excellent opportunity to celebrate the network’s role and some of the Council’s own offer in the city for families.”

LordProvostGlasgow’s Lord Provost Councillor Sadie Docherty spoke of how she was shocked at just how many children were missing out on what the City had to offer. When she became Lord Provost in 2012 she had set herself the task of visiting every one of the city’s 150 schools; and when talking with pupils, many from quite deprived areas in the city, many children told her they had never visited any of the city’s most iconic venues and museums. Continue reading