CHICKS Well-Being breaks
This week is Mental Health Awareness Week. CHICKS frequently receive referrals for children who are…Read more
Last week’s respite break at CHICKS’ Coastal Retreat was made possible thanks to support from Allegra’s Ambition. The break enabled a group of young carers from Hampshire to enjoy some much-needed time away, where they could relax without the burden of their caring responsibilities and enjoy new experiences.
Allegra’s Ambition is a charity which was established in 2015 following the tragic and sudden loss of sixteen-year-old Allegra. Allegra loved life, sport and animals and had a head bursting with ambitions. She had so many hopes and dreams and wanted to make the world a better place; Allegra’s Ambition aims to fulfil some of those goals in her memory.
The charity supports young people to enhance their lives through participation in sport and outdoor activities by sponsoring projects that benefit the most vulnerable and disadvantaged. It also encourages young people to get involved in building the charity, by supporting them in fundraising challenges and volunteering opportunities.
The ‘Allegra’ break had an incredible impact on the children we supported. During the week, the children went swimming, took a trip to the beach, paid a visit to the circus and went horse riding – as well as spending lots of time enjoying the play facilities at CHICKS’ Coastal retreat and getting stuck into some crafty activities!
Horse riding proved really popular, especially with the children who have come to CHICKS in previous years – they were over the moon when they could ride the same horses they had ridden last year!
One child who really benefited from some time away was 11-year-old Reuben*:
11-year-old Reuben lives with his mum and his six younger siblings. His dad is no longer around, and one of his brothers is disabled, so there is a lot of responsibility on Reuben as the oldest and most able child to help his mum and look after his siblings.
At the start of his much-needed CHICKS break, Reuben’s behavior was challenging and he was keen to test the boundaries. But after input and attention from the Respite Break Leaders, by the middle of the week he was ‘like a different child’. He loved the opportunity to get creative and really threw himself into a puppet making activity. Reuben was really proud of his creation and relished the positive praise and attention from adults.
By the end of the week, Reuben’s behavior had dramatically improved and it was clear that he benefited hugely from his time away with CHICKS.
We were delighted that three of Allegra’s friends were able to join us by volunteering on the break and would like to say a huge thank you to them, and to Allegra’s Ambition for funding the break and giving these children the chance to have a wonderful break away on the Cornish coast.
Lucy from Allegra’s Ambition said: “CHICKS fits perfectly with Allegra’s Ambition, offering the opportunity for young disadvantaged people to spend a week outside in the country, gain new experiences, learn new skills, make friends and have fun.
“It also gives our young supporters an amazing opportunity to volunteer & contribute towards fulfilling the aims of the charity. Allegra’s Ambition encourages everyone to #challengeyourself and at CHICKS that happens every day.”
“CHICKS is the best part of the year” - 11-year-old girl on Allegra break
*Name has been changed to protect identity