Making Memories… Giving Hope

Benefits of a CHICKS respite break



A respite break at one of the CHICKS retreats is a perfect place for disadvantaged children and young people to benefit from time away from their usual lives and worries and just be themselves.

Many of the children on our breaks are living in poverty, or are young carers. Others have been abused, bereaved or bullied. A CHICKS break offers them the opportunity to try new things and challenges and have fun in a safe, relaxed, happy environment!

The main aim we have, for the children who come on our respite breaks, is that they have a positive, happy experience. To enable this, our respite break leaders plan each break to incorporate four key elements:

  • Adventure
  • Creativity
  • Imagination
  • Relaxation

These key elements are primarily supported through play.

Research shows that play offers children many valuable benefits, including the development of physical, emotional, creative and social/life skills.

Our respite breaks consist of many types of play - not all of which will involve typically physical activities such as surfing, climbing or horse-riding, or more gentle, creative activities such as crafting. Instead, children are also encouraged to find quiet, relaxed time too – we might think of it as ‘me time’ or mindfulness. The key thing is that on break, as well as participating in obviously fun activities and making great memories, we also encourage and support children to discover an activity that really helps them feel free and so focused in the moment that they’re able to forget their usual worries or troubles.

We see first-hand how children who are referred to us and spend a week on one of our respite breaks benefit by:

  • Building self-confidence and self-esteem
  • Using creativity to solve problems
  • Finding new skills to help resolve conflict
  • Developing social skills with other children
  • Learning to take safe risks and face new challenges
  • Using imaginative play to help manage and express their emotions and feelings
  • Learning how to manage complex social situations

If you would like to know more about CHICKS and ways in which you could help support us – through volunteering, fundraising, donations or taking on a challenge - please take a look at our 'Get Involved' pages:


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