Making Memories… Giving Hope

Bring light and happiness to the lives of hundreds of vulnerable children in 2020


One week can be gone in the blink of an eye. But one week when you're eight and braving the dizzying heights of a rock climbing wall, patting the horse you didn't believe you could ride, or beaming with pride as new friends exclaim how amazing you are at Dobble can last a long time –  even forever.

Every child who comes on a CHICKS break is escaping a home life that can be hard and unfair, to realise they are a unique and brave young person. There are currently 4.1 million children in the UK who worry about washing because they've run out of hot water, or hungrily stand at food banks clutching their sibling's hands. For the children who come on a CHICKS break, this is real life.

Many  of those who came to CHICKS in 2019 were living in poverty. Others were suffering the agonising pain of losing a loved one, struggling with the impact of abuse or neglect, or shouldering the overwhelming responsibility of caring for a sick or disabled family member. For these young people, a break at CHICKS is a reason to smile on even the darkest of days.

Children running along the river bank at Dovedale
A CHICKS break gives children a reason to smile, laugh and be free of worries

In the last month, you have learned about the magic that CHICKS can bring to some of these children's lives at Christmas. But our Chief Executive Andrew Dean has an important message to consider in 2020.

For the first in our Christmas series, click here to meet break volunteer Adam.

For the second in the series, click here to meet CHICKS cook Dawn Kenny.

For the third in the series, click here to meet Break Leaders Will and Hayley.

"What if we told you that this year, you'd have the chance to go on a break that would change your perspective on life forever? A break that would broaden your horizons and challenge you to believe in yourself again? A break that would show you that complete strangers can become the best of friends in just a few short days, and that you can achieve more than you ever thought possible?

"I'm so pleased that for the last few weeks you've been able to learn about the difference a CHICKS break over Christmas can make to a child's life – about how they'll have the chance to believe in the same magic as so many other children at this time of year.

"But Christmas is just the beginning. Throughout 2020, CHICKS will offer these children the chance to discover just how much they can achieve and how much hope they can have for the future. A week where they’ll swim, raft, play games, horse ride, and rock climb. Our team of Respite Break Leaders will greet a group of 16 anxious and apprehensive children every Monday, and every Friday wave them off full of excitement and wonder with tales of fantastic adventures and the most brilliant people.

"To continue changing childhood memories and inspiring hope, CHICKS needs to raise £1.8 million every year. We don't receive any government funding, so every pound you give provides a chance for a child to realise that even if weeks pass in the blink of an eye, they can be full of happiness and light.

A girl on the air walk course at Alter Rock
Throughout 2020, many children will discover how much they can achieve

"Donating just £5 could give 16 children the unforgettable taste of their first marshmallows toasted on a campfire; £10 a pair of wellies to boldly step across the stepping stones at Dovedale, and perhaps splash a friend at the other side too! £30 would pay for all the home-cooked food they'll enjoy on a CHICKS break: warming chilli con carnes, perfect picnic wraps and snacks, and of course our cook Dawn's freshly baked cakes for an afternoon treat!

"If you're making a new year's resolution for the coming year, please consider supporting CHICKS. Whether you can make a donation today, plan a coffee morning, consider a sponsored challenge, or choose to volunteer on one of our breaks, we need your help to build futures for children.

"For reading this today, for reading our articles over the last few weeks, and for considering us in your plans for 2020, thank you. We wish you all a merry Christmas."

Give a child the chance to discover what they’re truly capable of in 2020. Call 01822 811020 to refer them to a CHICKS break or click here to make a donation.

Children holding balloons that spell out 'thank you'
Thank you so much for helping so many children and young people in 2019

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