Holidays are so important for the brave military families of Britain, and even a well-earned break away with the kids can recharge the batteries, quiet the mind and create happy memories for years to come.
When it comes to forces families, family breaks and holidays can prove even more crucial, as long periods of separation mean family dynamics can change and it can become stressful for service personnel and those left behind affected by the rigors of operational deployment on return.
Since 2001, more than 458 British forces personnel have lost their lives in Afghanistan, more than 2,000 have experienced physical or psychological damage, and families across the country have seen their lives profoundly changed. Operational tours can have a lasting impact on these families, so it is hugely important to support them when possible.
Recognising the need for rest, relaxation and, most importantly, the chance to reconnect as a family unit, Give Us Time was created to offer week-long holidays to military personnel, allowing them the opportunity to enjoy some well-deserved bonding time with their partners and children after serving their country. A simple holiday in a neutral environment, away from the responsibilities of day-to-day life, can have a hugely transformative effect.
The charity was founded in 2012 by Dr. Liam Fox MP who, in his time as an Army Doctor and later as Secretary of State for Defence, became aware that homecomings were not always as easy as might be expected for service personnel or their families. "We've not always been doing enough for service families, and that's where this project comes in. Very often, families just need some quality time together", he said.
The Keith family enjoyed a holiday in the seaside town of Swanage, and had this to say about their holiday: "Whilst nothing can really make up for the sacrifices military family members make for being part of a service family, Give Us Time holidays really do provide the time and space needed to spend good quality family time together; away from the high pressure tempo of military life."
At Give Us Time we are always on the look out for new donators to ensure we can help as many military families as possible, but we are lucky enough to have some great supporters including holiday ownership company, Diamond Resorts International® who made a donation worth £30,000. In March of this year its Club affiliated Balkan Jewel Resort in Bulgaria, became home to over 40 military personnel and their families, mostly from the Abingdon and Gurkha regiments. It was an unforgettable experience for all as many of the children were seeing snow for the very first time.
We are appealing to owners and managers of holiday homes, second homes, hotels and timeshares to donate accommodation to British military personnel and their families.
British holidays in particular are very much appreciated by the families, many of which like to enjoy being close to home after many months away.