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This Christmas, 14 children will be travelling to our Coastal Retreat in Cornwall. All of them are living in unique circumstances which would otherwise make Christmas a very difficult and stressful experience.
Many of them are living in poverty, whilst others are young carers for family members. Others are living in care, or have been victims of abuse. Christmas at CHICKS will give them the opportunity to forget the worries and responsibilities they face at home, allowing them to simply be children, and enjoy all the fun of the festive season.
Here is the story of one child who is coming to stay:
10-year-old Jenny* has had an extremely tough year and is just coming to the end of a harrowing court case.
Jenny’s mum regularly goes away on holiday without her, leaving her with other relatives. Last Christmas, Jenny was left in the care of a male relative who sexually abused her. She has received no emotional support from her family since making the allegations, and - whilst her attacker is now in prison - Jenny has been blamed for the resulting family breakdown.
Naturally, Jenny has become very stressed and anxious at home, and her referrer felt it would be hugely beneficial for her to be in a completely different environment a year on from the incident.
Spending Christmas at CHICKS will mean Jenny can feel valued once again, in a safe and secure environment with trustworthy adults. Being away at this time of year will mean she can relax and enjoy the festive season, without any of the stress and accusations she faces at home.
*Name has been changed to protect identity
This year, our Christmas break has only been made possible thanks to funding from Ginsters! Thanks to their support, the children will be enjoying five days of festive fun, with visits to see Santa at the Eden Project, a trip to the pantomime and of course, lots of presents to open and delicious food!