Travel industry support is essential to the Family Holiday Association

Me, Isabell Sinclair and Simon Allan of Canvas Holidays opening our Craig Tara caravan two years ago.

The Family Holiday Association is very lucky to have so much support from the travel industry. But then you might expect that people who see at first hand the importance families attach to their holidays might be the first to want to help those less fortunate to also share in the benefits that even a simple break can deliver.

Last Saturday I travelled to Edinburgh to join one such company, Canvas Holidays, as it celebrated its 50th anniversary. Based in Dunfermline, the company was one of the first travel companies to offer package camping holidays in Europe. Continue reading

Forty years of holidays


A little sunshine goes a long way

This year is the Family Holiday Association’s 40th anniversary.  I want the charity to use this major milestone to both celebrate our four decades of working on behalf of families but also to help us prepare for the years ahead as there is still much to achieve.

Have a look at our 40th Anniversary Brochure –

Since 1975, when Pat and Joan Laurance first set up the charity in their spare bedroom in north London, we have directly supported tens of thousands of families with a simple break away from home.  And, in recent years, we have helped to significantly raise the awareness of just how important and beneficial a break can be; particularly for those families who can least afford even the simplest of holidays.

Celebrating the charity’s roots, we have used Pat and Joan’s first fundraising drive as inspiration for our current 500 for 500 campaign and we plan to help re-create their famous Hampstead Garden Suburb street fair, inviting along some of the celebrities whom they had open those early events.  We recently found some vintage footage of Esther Rantzen visiting the 1979 street fair with her family. View here.

Continue reading

High praise for charity’s research partnership

Scott McCabe
Scott McCabe, Associate Professor in Tourism Management/Marketing

The Family Holiday Association has been closely involved with a number of universities over the past decade including Nottingham, Sheffield, Westminster and Surrey. While we might know intuitively the benefits of a break away from home, by looking at the impact more closely from both quantative and qualative perspectives can only add to the credibility of the charity’s arguments in favour of extending the reach of social tourism. Continue reading

Christmas wishes

Over 11,000 children and adults were helped by the Family Holiday Association to get a break away from home this year.  Most had never been away as a family.

This coming year we aim to help even more families because we know how much good a simple break can deliver, especially for those families for whom a break is well beyond their means.  The post-Christmas period is the traditional time for thinking about and booking our summer holidays, but there are too many children, literally millions of children, for whom a holiday will be an unfulfilled Christmas wish. Continue reading

Programme Manager John Kinnear’s first radio interview

141203BBCThreeCounties_RobertoPerroneSHARPThe Family Holiday Association is regularly asked to appear on radio shows, often at the last minute, and on Wednesday this week we received a call from BBC Three Counties radio to ask if we would talk to Roberto Perrone.

Apparently Roberto had spoken with a Three Counties resident who had not been on holiday for 60 years hence his call to the charity to ask for our views on the benefits of holidays.  New Programme Manager John Kinnear took up the challenge…


I think John did an excellent job and he managed to move Roberto with the idea that so many children miss out on the simple pleasure of feeling sand between their toes or paddling in the sea.

BBC Three Counties is the BBC Local Radio service for the English counties of Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire (referred to as Beds, Herts and Bucks) and has an average audience of around 150,000 listeners.

What wasn’t said about Chris Browne last night at BAFTA

Chris Browne on stage with Ian Taylor at BAFTA last night
Chris Browne on stage with Ian Taylor at BAFTA last night

Chris Browne, chief operating officer of TUI Aviation, delivered the annual University of Surrey School of Hospitality & Tourism Management lecture in BAFTA’s Princess Anne Theatre on Piccadilly last night.

Chris talked about her recent promotion from MD of TUI’s Thomson Airways to COO of all five of TUI’s airlines and the job she faces in pulling all these separate airlines into one organisation.  Continue reading

Getting a break can help with getting a job!

Konstantinos Kakoudakis and John McDonald
Konstantinos Kakoudakis visited me on Tuesday this week and shared some of his research findings

Update – Tuesday 17 February 2015

Read Kakoudakis’s newly arrived summarised research report here

Original post – 26 November 2014

Konstantinos Kakoudakis is a PhD student at Nottingham University who dropped into the charity’s office to meet with me and our Programme Manager John Kinnear earlier this week.  Konstantinos (or Kostas as he is better know) was a regular visitor to the charity last year while he worked on the research for his thesis.  He was looking at how our work impacted on families, particularly where at least one member of the family was unemployed. Continue reading

Peter Long, CEO of TUI Travel PLC, attends the charity’s trustee meeting on Wednesday 19 November

Peter Long addressing the Holidays Matter conference earlier this month at World Travel Market in the Excel Centre, London.
Peter Long addressing the Holidays Matter conference earlier this month at World Travel Market in the Excel Centre, London.

Peter Long leads one of the world’s largest travel companies and is a long-time supporter of the Family Holiday Association.  Last year he agreed to take on the role of charity President and since then he has devoted considerable time and energy to his new role. Continue reading