Since 2016 Hostelling Scotland has proudly supported the ScotSpirit Breaks programme, a ‘social tourism’ initiative which offers disadvantaged families from across Scotland the opportunity to have short holiday. ScotSpirit Breaks are co-ordinated by VisitScotland, in partnership with the Family Holiday Association.
In 2017 we enabled almost 60 disadvantaged parents and children from across Scotland to experience a family holiday in the form of a short break in one of our youth hostels.
One of the families we supported said: “We have struggled for a few years now and have been through a lot of family upheaval…me and my kids need a break from the daily stress and struggle, and I want to give them something exciting to look forward to.” The family had a two night break at Cairngorm Lodge Youth Hostel and said: “I was delighted with the hostel staff and just how friendly and welcoming they were, especially with the kids. I didn’t know what to expect with staying in a hostel, but felt lots of effort was put into the family feeling at home.”
In 2018 Hostelling Scotland donated short night breaks for up to 10 families in hostels across Scotland. Additionally, to celebrate the Year of Young People 2018, Hostelling Scotland worked with the Family Holiday Association to develop a new programme, offering families the opportunity to have a group holiday with other families.
The Family Holiday Association charity was founded on the belief that holidays are a lifeline, not a luxury, and the evidence shows that spending time together away from daily hardship can be life-changing for the families it works with. The Association works with charities and referrers across Scotland to identify and support local disadvantaged families to take part. Many of the families they work with haven’t had a break for years, and some families have never had a holiday at all.
If you’d like to refer a family for a break please contact the Family Holiday Association here.