Send a message of hope and postivity
Ordinarily, CHICKS’ retreats would be filled with children and young people from far and wide,…Read more
Most of us imagine Christmas where children are with their family, in a warm home, with a stocking at the end of their bed and presents under the tree, with plenty of food and fun.
Sadly, for many of the children that are referred to CHICKS, they can only dream of a Christmas like this. The reality of their lives is queuing at food banks and electricity running out on the meter, let alone imagining a small toy or luxuries such as Christmas lunch.
With your help, this Christmas we can open up our doors and invite 16 children, who have some of the most desperate home lives, to spend Christmas at CHICKS. You can give them a Christmas to remember, one that they will cherish for years to come.
Our Christmas respite breaks are a wonderful and magical week for children who otherwise would not experience the excitement of decorating a Christmas tree, the thrill of waking up on Christmas Day to a stocking at the end of their bed, or the delight of opening presents under the tree.
Children on our Christmas break enjoy lots of festive fun including making decorations and Christmas cards, having fun at the pantomime, and enjoying a yummy and traditional Christmas dinner with their new friends, creating happy Christmas memories. Children also enjoy lots of other fun activities on their break including sandcastle building at the beach, swimming with fun inflatables and the exhilarating experience of whizzing down slopes snow tubing!
For many children who come on a CHICKS Christmas break they will enjoy festive experiences they may not have had before, but more importantly a Christmas break gives children who may have lost confidence or self-belief because of their home circumstances, the chance to experience Christmas as a child, without any worries or stress.
Lola came on Christmas break last year and told one of the Respite Break Leaders, “All I want for Christmas is a big teddy bear and a craft set”, not knowing that was exactly what was waiting for her under the tree; she was absolutely delighted when she opened her presents!
Evie enjoyed her Christmas at CHICKS so much that she exclaimed "I wish I could live here!".
Respite Break Training and Support Officer Oliver Boyce explains, "Many of these children would not have had a Christmas at all at home. Their home life at Christmas can often be a chaotic and stressful time. Parents may not be able to afford to treat their children with gifts over the Christmas period and this can mean it is a stressful time for the whole family.
"At CHICKS we pull out all the stops to treat the children to a variety of fun and festive activities such as going to the pantomime and dressing the volunteers up as Christmas trees! A CHICKS favourite is a walk along the beach on Christmas day before heading back for a traditional Christmas Feast! And Christmas morning at CHICKS has a magical atmosphere; you can almost feel the anticipation before the children open their presents!".
If you've been wondering what to give friends and family this Christmas because they've got everything they want and need, please consider giving the gift of hope, of fun and belly laughter by donating to CHICKS on their behalf - it will be the best Christmas present you could ever give - to a child who really is in need.
Please donate here.
With heartfelt thanks for all your support and a very Happy Christmas from all of us here!