January 31st marks the end of the beginning to a new year, but to many of us, it means something else as well. Each year in the UK, this is the day when we recognise the incredible efforts of the 700,000+ young people across the country who care for their family members during Young Carers Awareness Day.
Young carers often miss out on the opportunity to play the way children should, and new research by the Carers Trust show that as many as 68% of young carers are bullied in school. On average, they also miss or cut short 48 days of school every year because of their responsibilities in the home.
We believe all children deserve a chance to play and make happy memories, which is why we are particularly proud of our ongoing partnership with CHICKS. CHICKS is a national children’s charity providing free respite breaks to disadvantaged children from all over the UK, and 45% of children referred to CHICKS in 2017 had caring responsibilities. Each week from February-December, sixteen children come to stay with the CHICKS team at one of their retreats. During that week, they get to take part in an array of activities including arts and crafts, horse-riding, days out to the beach and plenty of free play.
This year, CHICKS will give hundreds of more young carers like Josie the chance to be children again. And Oliver’s Travels will continue to donate 1% of our profits to CHICKS in order to provide disadvantaged children with a week away from home that gives them the chance to have fun and enjoy new experiences.
If you would like to learn more about how you and your company can support CHICKS please visit www.chicks.org.uk or contact Sara, Partnership Manager at email@example.com. In the meantime, enjoy this inside look into our most recent CHICKS retreat in Cornwall:
After what can only be described as a turbulent trip down to Cornwall, we finally arrived at the retreat at 2pm. We were greeted by Richard and Kayleigh who gave us a tour of the grounds (which are as a cosy as ever), before sitting down for a cuppa and a wrap (a tradition we can’t resist). We then met the children down by the nearby beach where we whittled the hours making sandcastles and exploring caves.
Once their time on the beach was up, we returned to the retreat to indulge in FREE PLAY. Trampolines, football and table tennis – everything synonymous with fun!
This is what our Co-Founder Ravi had to say about the day in Cornwall, “The time we continue to spend with the team and the volunteers, I’m reminded about the importance of making happy memories from a young age. The work they do is impressive, I’ve never seen kids so happy and content and I’m sure they’ll remember their time with CHICKS for a lifetime.”
Spending time with the children is always a breath of fresh air. Considering all the difficulties they face at such a young age; their happiness is both infectious and heart-warming.
On our way home, we shared stories and funny anecdotes from the day with each other – working with CHICKS is something we will always be grateful for.
In 2017, with your help we raised £21,600 as part of our Book a Break, Give a Break campaign. Unanimously, we knew we couldn’t stop there; so, for every booking we make, we donate 1% of profits to CHICKS.
Every £15,000 covers the cost of a week’s retreat for 16 children – all of which wouldn’t be possible without your support, so, from us and CHICKS we want to say a big thank you!
If you know a child who could benefit from a CHICKS break, please refer them! Children are referred to CHICKS for many reasons. They could be living in poverty, be young carers or be subject to neglect, abuse, emotional distress or any other situation that causes them to have a hard time at home. They’ll need to be between 8-15 years old, and you’ll need to complete the referral form. It’s straightforward, and you could really make all the difference!