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Mothers' Union providing a "break from it all" for families around the UK
On this, International Day of Families (15th May), we look at how our "Away From It All" scheme is providing support and relief for families in need.
Mothers’ Union members regularly provide various types of breaks for more than 4000 people a year in the UK & Ireland through our long running "Away From It All" (AFIA) scheme, which is intended to support families who are experiencing stressful times and would otherwise not have the opportunity of a holiday.
Amongst those we have helped are Sarah and her 10-year old son Michael who live in Wales. Referred by a substance misuse social worker who has been working with Sarah for eight years, she and her son were granted a caravan break from Mothers' Union, following a year of Sarah having been free from alcohol. Despite apprehension if she would be able to take her son and how they would cope with the trip, both of them managed very well. Supported by their social worker who was at hand to offer transport and kept in touch with them daily, they enjoyed new found freedoms such as swimming and Michael riding his bike around the park. The social worker shared that Sarah looked rested after the trip and that she had surprised herself how well she had done throughout the week. This time together away from the daily stress has given them back a lot of self-confidence and Michael for the first time in his life was able to return to school to tell them that he has been on holiday. The relationship between Sarah and her son Michael has also been strengthened by making positive memories of a good holiday together.
In another area of the UK, pupils from a deprived school were enabled to visit the Belgium battle fields as part of their education with an AFIA donation towards their trips costs. The students shared their amazing experience: "Thank you to Mothers' Union for supporting our visit to the battlefields in France and Belgium. When we were at the cemeteries I was amazed at all the graves. I looked at the names of the soldiers and discovered that they were all very young. We went to the trenches that were muddy and wet. The best part of the visit for me was watching the Last Post ceremony. It was very sad. I now know that thousands of soldiers died in the battles and that it is important to remember the bravery of the soldiers in World War 1." The trip has made a lasting impact as the teacher has shared with us that the class is still talking about it months later!
These are just two examples of the varied types of breaks that Mothers’ Union members arrange to suit the needs of those applying for assistance to find out more about our AFIA project please click here
Stock image photo by Marco Ceschi on Unsplash