County charity wants more Harborough children to go on free holidays

Many of the youngsters who go on the holidays have never seen the sea
Many of the youngsters who go on the holidays have never seen the sea

A long-running county charity is keen to offer more free trips to Harborough children who need them.

In the last five years, just nine children from Market Harborough enjoyed trips arranged by the charity Leicester Children's Holidays - and it wants more.

A free adventure holiday by the sea was enjoyed by 44 children recently, thanks to county charity Leicester Children’s Holidays that is looking to expand and offer more trips.

The charity has given 60,000 children a holiday over many decades and the latest group have just returned from the latest fun trip.

Between 2013 and 2018, just nine children from Market Harborough went on the trips and the charity is keen to increase this number.

Leicester Children’s Holiday’s slogan is “Every child needs a holiday” and this is the 121st year it has been offering the breaks, drawing in children from Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland. For many children, it is a life-changing experience in their young lives.

The youngsters enjoyed a week at the Hilltop Outdoor Centre near Sheringham in Norfolk, an adventure base right on the coast with an emphasis on fun. As well as offering a ‘bucket and spade’ holiday, the qualified staff engage with them and help them work together as a team - and create happy memories. The children are encouraged to develop a fresh outlook on life.

There are zip wires, climbing walls, mountain bikes, den building and exploring in rock pools- and lots of group activities.

Children between the ages of eight and 11 go on the all-expenses-paid holidays. The youngsters are recommended by schools, charities, food banks and agencies such as social services. Between 2013 and 2018, 43 per cent of the children who went on a holiday were from Leicestershire and Rutland and 57 per cent from Leicester.

The charity’s manager is Nicky Kandola, a former headteacher in Leicestershire whose experience working with children makes her ideal for the role. She said: “The children we help are from all kinds of backgrounds who need a break and a chance to enjoy themselves. For some, they are a life-changing experience.

“We have been part of Leicestershire for a long time and when we organise fund-raisers or supermarket collections, we always get people coming up to us and saying: ‘I went on one of your holidays, it was brilliant.’

“Sometimes parents need a helping hand and that is where we come in. Recently one mum told me her daughter went on one of our trips. She was upset she couldn’t provide a holiday for her daughter, but that daughter now is grown-up and has a job at the BBC.”

Go on to the Leicester Children’s Holidays website or at www.lecisterchildrensholidays.co.uk to put forward a child to enjoy one of the trips.