Iam a single, disabled mum and my son Josh has been caring for me for the past four years since he was nine,” says Tina from South Yorkshire. “I can’t afford to go on holiday and it is difficult for me as I really struggle leaving the house. Josh tends to have to be with me most of the time.
“Our four-night break to Blackpool last September was organised with the Family Holiday Association by our worker from Sheffield Young Carers. They not only organised our holiday but also contacted Josh’s school, explaining the extenuating circumstances involved.
“We stayed in a lovely holiday caravan park and we had a really great time, taking trips to the Sea Life centre, visiting the dungeons, the waxworks and going up to the top of Blackpool Tower – twice! We loved being able to walk on the beach. We live quite a way away from the coast so just to be able to stroll along the sand, see the sea and breathe in the sea air was wonderful. It meant so much, just being tourists, being normal! Things had been a bit strained at home so having that time together brought us closer again.
“Josh had an emu he carried around with him constantly, doing Rod Hull impressions all of the time! The last holiday he’d had was six years ago. All his friends had been on holiday over the summer and this was his chance to go away, too.
“This meant everything to both of us, even though it exhausted me – I have chronic fatigue and posttraumatic stress disorder and being around a lot of people can stress me out but I did it for him. Having the chance to be away and having a change of scene meant so much. Josh still talks about it. He always wanted to go to the places we visited, especially the top of the Blackpool Tower. On our second visit it was evening and we watched all the illuminations come on along the seafront.
“When you’re on benefits, disabled, a single parent it is impossible to afford to go on holiday. Our break to Blackpool made such a huge difference to us.”
in the sea