Family Caravan Holiday Project
A story by Glasgow Children's Holiday Scheme
Glasgow Children’s Holiday Scheme provided holidays to disadvantaged children and families across greater Glasgow.
We do this primarily through a week long holiday at 1 of our 6 holiday caravans but also by enabling youth activity breaks and through host family holidays.
What Family Caravan Holiday Project did
The children generally live in areas of deprivation across Greater Glasgow and all are affected by poverty or disadvantage with families in receipt of benefits and/or on low incomes. Families are referred to us by a range of statutory and voluntary organisations that know and work with the families. The Holiday Scheme has built effective working relationships with referrers over the years and we aim to target our provision to those who would benefit the most.
The scheme focuses on giving children and their families or carers the holiday they need and would not get without our assistance, children in poverty, with disabilities and families suffering from domestic abuse and family breakdowns. A holiday is something many of us take for granted but for many other children it is something they miss out on. Our holidays give children the opportunity to get away from their day to day environment, experience new things and help provide happy memories.
In 2016 we enabled 494 children and young people, 212 families and 429 adults to get a break. This included, 109 children with a disability, 44 with multiple care needs, 25 children affected by domestic violence, 48 children on the autism spectrum, 26 children affected by bereavement, 84 single parents, 45 young carers, 43 kinship carers, 22 children with a sensory impairment, 54 adults with mental health issues, 31 adults with a physical disability, 13 families, 22 adults and 34 children from black and ethnic and asylum communities.
Of the 494 children and young people 10 went on holiday with 6 of our hosts families, 54 went to our caravan for an activity based break with their youth group and 430 went with their families/carers to our caravans for a week’s holiday. The Holiday Scheme only operates thanks to a range of volunteer support including our Trustees, fund raisers, escorts and individuals and companies who help with our cleaning and preparation days at our caravans.
During 2016, the Holiday Scheme also celebrated 60 years and we are planning to produce a booklet on the history of the Scheme.
Mum, Colette, let us know that her son who has Asperger's could be given a little freedom when on holiday at Wemyss Bay as it was safe and secure; Raymond (12) loved to watch the entertainment and children's club activities and this time he joined in which was a breakthrough.
George is the main carer for 2 sons, aged 5 and 7 and the 7 year old has cerebral palsy and mild brain damage. The opportunity for a break was much needed for the 3 of them and to ensure George got a break he went with his cousin and his son.
What Glasgow Children's Holiday Scheme has learnedEach year the experiences and feedback we receive reinforces the need for what we do and the need for affordable and accessible breaks for all. Better Breaks funding is important recognising the role we can play within the broader short breaks agenda as well as confirming our commitment to being open and accessible to all who may benefit from what we can offer.
We continue to encourage and promote applications from a range of statutory and voluntary organisations and work with them to enable our provision to those children and families who would most benefit. Within our resources we will continue to look at ways we can improve and adapt. This includes a review of the future of our current caravan at River Tilt, general improvements to our caravan stock at Wemyss Bay including a new caravan and improvements to our adapted caravan as well as exploring how we may offer more flexibility in our caravan holidays with use of shorter breaks.