Catholic Children's Society holidays: memories that will last forever

 Some of the poorest families in London were able to enjoy holidays and days out this summer thanks to the Catholic Children's Society (Westminster). Families from St Francis' and St Margaret's Family Centres in Poplar and North Kensington enjoyed day trips to Southend, Legoland and the London Wetlands Centre. Two families, who had never before had a holiday, went to Butlins.

One mother said: "It was so lovely just to get away from the routine of everyday life. I was able to spend lovely times with my son as I didn't have to do any cooking or cleaning and I was near to tears when my three year old son said "I love you mummy" to me for the first time. If it wasn't for the Family Centre I would never have been able to go on holiday."

The Society's holidays and programme of day trips and activities take place throughout the summer and autumn. These much needed breaks will help to build stronger, happier families. A parent who enjoyed a short break told a Family Centre staff member when she got back that it was the best day of her life and a dream come true, to see her children having fun on the beach and being able to share it with them.

Six year old Michelle said: "My sister and I made a big sandcastle and we put stones and shells and a flag on it. It was still there when we left to come home ­ it might still be there next year."

A simple break brings disadvantaged families closer together and helps them to cope-this is particularly true for families who can least afford a holiday and who can really benefit from relaxing away from the pressures of home. The Catholic Children's Society (Westminster) believes that building stronger, happier families should be of importance to everyone who values the well-being of their community and society.

Disadvantaged children are at risk of carrying forward problems into their adult lives. The work of the Catholic Children's Society (Westminster) enables children to achieve and thrive, and supports families in need to build their skills for the future.

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