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In our recent magazine we spoke with Hanna who came on a CHICKS breaks as a child, to find out about the memories she has of her break and the long-term impact the breaks had on her. This is Hanna's story:
I came on a CHICKS respite break when I was 14 as I had a difficult time growing up; I had no confidence and my home life was very hard, my teacher thought I deserved a break away from everything. We did lots of activities on my break, and I loved every one of them. As a child the experience was amazing. It made me feel so much more confident, as you meet new people and spend time away from home – which the thought of was scary at first but actually I enjoyed every second of my time on break.
After my CHICKS break and I came home, I realised how bad my home life was and decided it would be better to move in with my dad, which is what I did. I also always said when I was older I would love to give something back to CHICKS and volunteer; this is something I hope to do in the next few years.
My clearest memory of my time at CHICKS was the day we went to the fairground as this was one of the best days, it was sunny and we went on all the rides!
Most of all I enjoyed meeting other children. It was an amazing experience for me as I was able to just be a child, have fun with others and not have to worry about home life.
For any child who has been offered a place on a CHICKS break I would say, enjoy every minute as it honestly goes so fast and also, don't worry about being away from home as the staff and volunteers are there to look after you and will not allow any harm to you.
I would like to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for the amazing experience I had as a child. I wrote letters to CHICKS many time after my break and I always had a reply. It was honestly the most amazing time of my life and I will always be grateful I was given the chance.