More Than 760 Vulnerable Children Enjoy a Break Thanks to Co-op Holidays and Go Beyond Partnership
Published 24 Aug 2022 in Community
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.
Go Beyond supports children and young people, aged 8-15, who are facing serious challenges in their everyday lives, such as bereavement, abuse, bullying, poverty or being a carer for loved ones.
The charity provides them with a chance for a break via a mix of residential stays and day visits where they can have new experiences, learn skills or make new friends, all whilst helping them escape their worries and pressures free of charge. In addition to this, the breaks also focus on improving physical and mental wellbeing, learning about the environment and tackling food poverty with a range of activities and healthy nutritious meals.
The tour operator Co-op Holidays, which is part of the Midcounties’ Co-op Travel Group, 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, the travel group has made a £50,000 donation to help offset any impact of the coronavirus pandemic from holiday booking donations.
And now, to celebrate committing to a second year of partnership, Co-op Holidays has pledged to donate a further £50,000 to the charity. It will also be supporting them with its marketing and providing the charity with Christmas selection boxes via Your Co-op Food stores, which is also part of the Midcounties Co-operative.
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 The Midcounties Co-operative, said: “We’re thrilled to be partnering with Go Beyond for a second year. As a travel business, 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.
Not only that, but as part of a co-operative, supporting our local communities is at the heart of everything we do. We’re so proud to be able to support Go Beyond thanks to the help of our holidaymakers and it’s great to see first-hand how we’re helping young people create ‘forever moments’, grow in confidence and make new friends.”
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!
It’s been such a privilege and so lovely to see the children who find it very challenging to connect and make friends achieve that in just a week, and hopefully they’ve made new friends that will last a lifetime.
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.”
Go Beyond is celebrating its 30th birthday this September and are planning Community Days in its Cornwall and Derbyshire centres to help build relationships with professionals that work with children, trusts & foundations, corporate partners, and supporters, to be able to support even more children from across the UK. For more information, please contact: SaraShearman@gobeyond.org.uk (Director of Fundraising and Communications at Go Beyond).
Co-op Holidays and Your Co-op Travel are part of The Midcounties Co-operative, which is one of the largest independent UK co-operatives and is fully owned by its members. Customers have the option of becoming a member of the Society, giving them access to exclusive member-only deals as well as special offers from across the Your Co-op group of businesses. Members also have a say in how the Society is run, including the work it does to support local communities in partnership with local volunteers and community groups.