Free summer holidays for disadvantaged youngsters in Scotland

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Bethany Christian Trust has launched their annual Give Kids a Break fundraiser that aims to give underprivileged children a summer holiday to remember.

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Shoppers will be asked to purchase a gift voucher, sponsoring a disadvantaged child a day trip of weekend away, packed full of adventurous fun.

The £10 and £75 gift vouchers can be bought at any of the charity’s six shops in Leith, Stockbridge, Summerhall, Morningside and Gullane.

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Edinburgh youngsters enjoy hiking on their summer holiday away.Edinburgh youngsters enjoy hiking on their summer holiday away.
Edinburgh youngsters enjoy hiking on their summer holiday away.

The father of a child who recently benefited from a trip away said: "It made her smile and laugh again and it was a joy to see all the kids carefree after lockdown. It was a peaceful trip, good to get away from the city and into the countryside.”

There is increasing evidence of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and its surrounding issues on the health and wellbeing of children and young people.

In April 2021 the Royal College of Psychiatrists reported that “children and young people are bearing the brunt of the mental health crisis caused by the pandemic”.

This has been reflected in the number of referrals to the charity’s support services, particularly as many of the children and young people they support have suffered additional challenges at home.

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Discussing the benefits of these breaks, Dilly Harris, homelessness prevention manager at Bethany Christian Trust said these trips allow children to learn new skills, make friends and grow in confidence.

Ms Harris added: “For others it is a precious time with their family away from other stresses, and a chance to share experiences with other parents and children.”

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