The Family Holiday Association yesterday launched Seaside Walk Week (23 to 31 May), the charity’s flagship fundraising initiative to mark their 40th anniversary. Beginning over the Spring Bank Holiday at the end of May, Seaside Walk Week is a fantastic opportunity to enjoy a guided walk at the seaside with good company and raise money for the charity.
The Week comprises a series of guided walks along the UK’s coast, encouraging the nation to explore the Great British seaside with family and friends.
Since 1975, the aim of the charity has been to help families have a break – anything from a simple day out to a few days in a caravan at the British seaside. Simple these trips may be, but for those affected by severe and sudden illness in the family, bereavement, disability, mental health and abuse, they can be nothing less than a lifeline. With trips to the British seaside at the heart of the Family Holiday Association’s work, Seaside Walk Week is a fitting way to celebrate four decades of providing breaks for struggling families.
The families supported in this way are referred by professionals in the community such as teachers, social workers, health visitors and other charities – the people who are best placed to identify those who will benefit the most. For over half of these families it is the first time they have experienced a family holiday, bringing hope and happiness to children, parents and carers who are struggling with the worst challenges life can bring. By getting the chance to paddle in the sea, build that first sandcastle and share happy times just like other families, they can take home precious memories and a new sense of hope.
Family Holiday Association celebrated the launch of Seaside Walk Week by organising a daytrip to Bristol Aquarium for families from a North London Children’s Centre. The trip was made possible through support from including First Great Western, the Aquarium, HF Holidays and Usborne Books.
The official seaside walks will range from two miles to ten miles in length, giving families and their children the chance to get involved, as well as more experienced walkers. With a common finishing point at each walk location, participants will have the chance to socialise, celebrate and refuel together.
Neil Oliver, TV presenter added, “I really want to encourage everyone lucky enough to enjoy holidays to support Seaside Walk Week. The money we raise will help children see the sea for the first time in their lives. Together we can give families who can’t see any escape from the daily struggle of impoverished lives, a break.”
Anyone interested in participating in Seaside Walk Week can register at SeasideWalkWeek.org.uk. It's just £15 per adult to register, £5 for children aged 5 to 16 and under-fives go free. There is no minimum sponsorship required but, as it's our 40th anniversary, it would be great if each family or group could raise £40 or more.
Seaside Walk Week will take place thanks to our partners including First Great Western, The Guild of Registered Tourist Guides, HF Holidays, Higgidy, Hildon Water & Big Welsh Walk, Usborne Books, VisitEngland, Welcome to Yorkshire, Wightlink and YHA.