HopScotch Children’s Charity provides free respite holidays for vulnerable children from all over Scotland. Ardvullin, their beautiful holiday centre in the Scottish Highlands, first opened its doors for children in need of a respite break in 1998. Since that time they have been working in partnership with many organisations around Scotland to enable them to bring children on residential breaks, which plays a key role in their ability to mentor and support the children they work with.
The children who visit Ardvullin are often from seriously challenging backgrounds. Many are young carers, others live in extreme poverty, and some have to contend with a daily reality of parental drug/alcohol abuse, domestic violence, or sexual abuse. Many have behavioural or learning difficulties. For these children a respite break is their only opportunity to have a holiday and a meaningful reprieve from the very difficult circumstances they live with.
HopScotch holidays are free for the children who come on them, and so funding is vital for them to continue to provide this invaluable service. The Foundation has paid for 8 children to have a fully funded HopScotch respite break this year, which will have an impact on their lives beyond the fun they had during their time at Ardvullin.
B’s Story – Experience It:
B is 11 years old and is a young carer for her mum. She takes a high degree of responsibility for her mum’s well-being, and worries that she has an impact on how well her mum is. She sometimes blames herself for her mum’s illness. B is an outgoing girl but her mum’s illness and the family’s financial situation make it hard for her to find opportunities to get out and enjoy herself, or go on holiday.
However, this year B was able to go on a HopScotch respite holiday. This meant that B could hand over her caring duties for a week. She enjoyed a variety of new and exciting activities, allowing her natural exuberance to develop and shine. B loved the atmosphere and surroundings of Ardvullin, and benefitted from being able to socialise with other children for a whole week. B’s time with HopScotch has given her renewed confidence and resilience to cope with her caring role at home.
DM Thomas Foundation most recently awarded HopScotch Children’s Charity a grant of £2,000.