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The children who come on a CHICKS respite break come from many different backgrounds, and for all sorts of reasons. This is Jemma's* story:
Jemma, aged 9, has a challenging home life. Jemma has been exposed to domestic violence and alcohol abuse in the past and has a lot of caring responsibilities within the home. Jemma's basic needs are often neglected by her parents and she frequently goes to school in unclean or inappropriate clothing. Her unkempt appearance has led to bullying from her peers and she struggles to make friends. As a result, she presents as a very lonely and sad young girl and her home situation means she has little chance for a break or to mix with her peers outside of school.
Jemma flourished throughout her time on break, visibly growing in confidence as the week progressed. Although initially a little nervous in her interactions with the adults on break, this improved as the week progressed and she enjoyed having time to talk to them one-on-one. Jemma also made lots of friends on her CHICKS break and benefited from the support and encouragement of her peers during activities; with this support in place she really pushed herself during horse riding and was extremely proud of her achievements as a result. She also loved taking part in team games in the lounge and relished the opportunity to get creative in the ‘arts and crafts’ area during ‘free play’. At the end of her week at CHICKS Jemma named horse riding and swimming as her favourite activities “because I gained confidence” and said that her ‘best memory’ had been “making good friends”.
Please support CHICKS
The total cost per break per child is £970. In order to provide respite breaks for more children like Jemma, we rely wholly on the generosity of our supporters - we receive no government funding. This year alone we need to raise £1.7 million in order to facilitate all the respite breaks planned.
Find out how you can get involed and help us raise vital funds here.
* name changed