Family Caravan Project
A story by Glasgow Children's Holiday Scheme
The Holiday Scheme provides disadvantaged children and their families with a holiday they need by giving a week long holiday at 1 of our 6 static caravans, enabling youth activity breaks and by offering host family holidays across Scotland.
What Family Caravan Project did
The children live in areas of deprivation across Greater Glasgow and all are affected by poverty with families in receipt of benefits and/or low incomes. Families are referred to us by a range of statutory and voluntary organisations who 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. The Scheme focuses on 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 positive memories and experiences.
In terms of numbers the Holiday Scheme provided 172 caravan holiday weeks to 209 families of 477 children during 2014/15. Of those 477 children, 429 children were in family groups and a further 48 children and young people enjoyed a long weekend group activity break through a youth project from the Gorbals area of Glasgow. Of the 477 children, 89 were children with disabilities.
Other beneficiary groups included were 25 were young carers and 108 were main adult carers, 36 support carers mainly grandparents, 6 were wheelchair users and 87 were single parents. We also provided 15 young people with a week long break with a host family at locations throughout Scotland. We are aiming to do the same again this year. To operate we rely totally on grants and donations.
We also appointed a new coordinator in January 2015.
What Glasgow Children's Holiday Scheme has learned
Three learing examples for the Holiday Scheme are:
The attraction of the donated caravan at River Tilt, Blair Atholl where the peace and tranquility proved especially beneficial to families with children on the autism spectrum. The committee initially felt it may be difficult to enable use of the caravan
The benefits for a small charity like ours being involved with Shared Care Scotland and the Family Holiday Association in terms of shared experiences and learning from others
Better Breaks funding has enabled us to continue to ensure high standards across our 6 caravans especially for children with disabilities