More than 760 vulnerable children from across the UK have enjoyed a getaway break over the past year thanks to Go Beyond’s partnership with Co-op Holidays, which is part of Midcounties Co-op’s travel business.
Go Beyond supports children and young people aged 8-15 who face serious challenges in their everyday lives, such as bereavement, abuse, bullying, poverty or being a carer for loved ones. The charity offers them a break via a mix of residential stays and day visits where they can have new experiences, learn skills or make new friends, and helps them escape their worries and pressures free of charge.
Co-op Holidays established its partnership with Go Beyond in June 2021 with a commitment to donating £1 per passenger to the charity for every holiday package booked. Over the past year it has made a £50,000 donation to help offset any impact from the pandemic on donations.
Now, as it commites to a second year of partnership, Co-op Holidays has pledged a further £50,000 to the charity, along with marketing support and Christmas selection boxes from the Midcounties’ food stores.
Throughout the second year of the partnership Co-op Holidays will continue to encourage its customers to donate a further £1 per holiday booking with them or their associated third-party travel companies – including the Personal Travel Agents and the Midcounties’ Co-op Travel Consortium – as well as collecting donations of unused currencies via collection boxes in its 74 Your Co-op Travel branches.
Sara Dunham, chief officer of travel and leisure at Midcounties, said: “We’re thrilled to be partnering with Go Beyond for a second year. We recognise how important a break can be for your mental health, so it’s great to be able provide these getaways for young people who face challenging situations every day.”
Hayley Mann, senior break leader at Go Beyond said: “The children attending Go Beyond breaks come from all over the country, not knowing anyone at the start of the week. They are all very nervous taking those first few steps off the minibuses, but after a few ice-breaker games they soon start warming up to each other and over the five day break the children’s communication skills with one another comes on leaps and bounds.
“On behalf of the children Co-op Holidays has supported, we would like to say a very heartfelt thank you. Your support has turned apprehension into
confidence and sadness into smiles, helping young people to believe in a bigger, brighter future! You make it possible to offer children and young people a break that lasts a lifetime.”
A letter from a child who attended a break after being referred to Go Beyond by her social worker to give her time away from her turbulent day-to-day life where she witnessed and experienced abuse.
“I want to give a big thank you for the amazing week you gave me at Go Beyond. I had that much of a great time, it was so emotional to say goodbye.
“Every night, before bed, we would give our favourite part of the day and why. But I think really, we should take the time to appreciate the fact, that you made us have a favourite part of the day, every day.
“I can’t wait to see you all again.”