We're delighted to announce our brand new partnership with national charityÂ Family Holiday Association! As a part of this partnership, we will be providing 52 back-to-nature escapes for families coping with some of the toughest challenges life can bring, such as severe and long-term illness, bereavement, mental health issues, disability, and domestic violence.
Research conducted by Family Holiday Association shows that, when a child is able to go on holiday, 97% of them had new experiences and 90% of families reported a reduction in stress levels, with a further 91% feeling they were better able to cope with everyday life. Despite the clear and wide-ranging benefits of a break, one in three children in the UK miss out on a holiday each year.
Family Holiday Association traditionally provide British seaside breaks but our new partnership with them marks the first time holidays in picturesque British forests will be made widely available.
There is a growing body of scientific evidence to suggest that spending time in a natural environment can help physical and mental wellbeing. 80% of people in the UK now live in towns and cities and find themselves increasingly separated from the natural world; we have forged this partnership to help to restore the balance, bringing nature back into peopleâ€™s lives and opening up a world of wild outdoor play for children.
We spoke to Bruce McKendrick, our Chief Executive, for his thoughts on the new partnership:
â€œForest Holidays exists to bring the benefits of the forest into peopleâ€™s lives, to connect people, nature, and local communities. Itâ€™s a sad fact that our connection with nature is diminishing as we lead increasingly urban lifestyles and children play outside less. Itâ€™s imperative that we help to redress that balance and open up our nationâ€™s forests for as many people as possible. We are delighted that our partnership with Family Holiday Association will offer 52 families, most in need of a break, the opportunity to reconnect with each other and renew their relationship with nature. Our guests genuinely feel a re-connection with the natural world that is restorative and uplifting and we very much look forward to welcoming our guests from Family Holiday Association and sharing the fantastic experience of the forest with them.â€
Each of the 52 Forest Holidays on offer will be in Golden Oak cabins complete with outdoor hot tub, gas barbecue, and log burning stove. The first break is expected to be given to a family in March 2019. During each of these breaks, the family will also get to take part in a complimentary Forest Ranger adventure! Each of ourÂ 11 UK locationsÂ has a resident Forest Ranger, an expert in the local wildlife, who helps to bring the forest alive for guests.
John Kinnear, Head of Programmes at Family Holiday Association, said:
â€œThe partnership with Forest Holidays is wonderful news as it will enable us to provide struggling British families the chance to spend meaningful time in nature, perhaps for the very first time. Itâ€™s a perfect fit as we know that Forest Holidays work extremely hard to connect people with nature and local communities and evidence shows that the breaks we offer result in stronger, healthier and happier families and communities. Weâ€™re excited to send our first family on their Forest Holiday very soon.â€
To discover more about our breaks, locations, and cabins visit:Â forestholidays.co.uk/
For further information on Family Holiday Association visit:Â familyholidayassociation.org.uk/
 ONS Family Resources Survey 2004/05 to 2013/14