Skegness beach visit for vulnerable families Travel Journal


Every time a customer books one of our holidays and opts in to our Trip for a Trip scheme, we organise a day trip for a disadvantaged young person somewhere around the world to see their local tourist sites, often for the first time.

Smiling faces
The Corner Club is part of Border House Homeless Hostel that can accommodate up to 60 families that have various issues. The reasons for families being homeless vary and their stay can be anything from a few days, to up to two years. Whilst they remain with us each family receives support both for the parent and the children to help them back onto the right pathway and lead an independent life after they move on.

The project has family support workers and childcare staff and provides financial support, confidence building, parenting routines, cooking on a budget, referrals to mental health organisations. Children also receive support around school readiness, making friendships and confidence building. This can be carried out on a one to one basis, or in group activities. The hostel is funded by the council, however it does not have the finances or budget to provide a coach trip to the coast. This trip gives families the opportunity to gain new experiences, and for many it's their first time seeing the sea. It's also simply a chance to spend quality time together as a family.

Journal:

Date: 31st July 2018

Morning: A group of 14 families with 31 children aged between 12-17 years travelled to Skegness together. All the families were at the Corner Club for 8am, eager and waiting for the coach to arrive at 8.30am. We left promptly for the journey to Skegness and arrived there for 11am. The coach driver very kindly pulled up on the sea front for us all to get off, where staff set up a tent and assembly point for everyone. All the families were given packed lunches and staff phone numbers and informed that staff would remain at the assembly point for the duration of the trip. Many families then went off on their own way, but several families remained with us.

Lunch: Throughout the day staff observed that many families had settled on the beach in various areas and were watching the children play in the sand. For lunch families had sandwiches/crisps/biscuits/fruit and drinks in their packed lunches. Most families had their lunch on the beach where they spent most of the day.

Afternoon: The afternoon was spent in a similar way to the morning, with families remaining on the beach. Some went to the nearby fairground and local shops, but most remained on the beach and slowly came and joined up with staff at the assembly point. All families were in a very happy mood and children played in the sand throughout the day. We left the beach at 4.30pm when everyone helped dismantle the tent and made our way back to the pick up point. The coach was prompt again and we left Skegness at 5.10pm to head back home.

Beach
Children in the sea
Impact: For three families, this was their very first experience of seeing a beach. This included the adults.

During the day, families who stayed with staff went down to the sea several times for a play in the waves. One child in particular aged four who had not been to a beach before laughed and screamed in delight each time a wave came up and she was encouraged to jump over it holding the adults' hands. This was a great step forward for the child, who had seldom spoken or interacted with anyone until this point. Staff asked all families what they enjoyed about the trip, and what was the best parts of the day, when everyone was back on the coach. Answers included 'everything', 'the beach', 'all the sand', 'going in the sea'.

Quotes from the children and comments from a support worker:
"I loved all the sand and the water."

"I liked the fair and candy floss my mum got me."

"The four year old who laughed and screamed in delight when jumping over the waves was rewarding for everyone to see. Whilst she did not say what her best part of the day was, her actions were very clear as to how much fun and enjoyment she was having. Others commented on the glorious weather and when asked how things could have been better the response was 'nothing' as the day was perfect. One child did say 'a shorter bus ride', but then we would never have reached our destination. All the families thanked me for organising the day and said how much they had enjoyed the experience, which as stated for some was the first time whole families had been to the sea. On behalf of them, I would like to thank you for giving these families an opportunity to forget their problems for one day by providing the funding. Without this we would never have been able to do this event."
- Support worker
Family Holiday Association logoAbout our partner organisation: The Family Holiday Association is the leading national charity dedicated to providing breaks and day trips for families struggling with some of the toughest challenges life can bring. It works with thousands of charities, social work departments, housing associations and NHS services who refer families in need of a break. In 2016 it helped over 11,000 children in 5,000 families get a short break or day out within the UK. For the majority of these families it was their first break away together and for over a third it was the first time that the children visited the beach.

Child and sandcastle
Family on the beach
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