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 marks Young Carers Awareness Day – a day when we recognise the incredible efforts of the 700,000+ young people across the country who care for their family members.
Young carers often miss out on the opportunity to play the way children should, and new research by the Carers Trust shows 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 at 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 Go Beyond (formerly CHICKS). This national children’s charity provides free respite breaks to disadvantaged children from all over the UK, and 45% of children referred to Go Beyond in 2017 had caring responsibilities.
Each week from February-December, sixteen children come to stay with the Go Beyond 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.
Through their important work, Go Beyond gives hundreds of young carers like Josie the chance to be children again. Oliver’s Travels continues to donate 1% of all profits to Go Beyond to help provide disadvantaged children with a week away from home and a chance to just have fun.
In the meantime, enjoy this inside look into our most recent Go Beyond 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 away 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 you could ever need to have fun!
Of his day in Cornwall, Co-Founder Ravi said, “Coming down here, I’m reminded about the importance of making happy memories from a young age. The work they do is so impressive, I’ve never seen kids so happy and content and I’m sure they’ll remember their time with Go Beyond for a lifetime.”
On our way home, we shared stories and funny anecdotes from the day with each other. Considering all the difficulties these children face at such a young age, their happiness is both infectious and heart-warming. That’s why working with Go Beyond 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 continue to donate 1% of profits to Go Beyond.
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 Go Beyond we want to say a big thank you!
If you know a child aged 8-15 who could benefit from a Go Beyond break, refer them! Whether they’re living in poverty, young carers, or subject to abuse that causes them to have a hard time at home, Go Beyond is here to help. All you need to do is complete the referral form and you could make a massive difference!