BLACK­POOL ROCKS

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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.”

Josh walk­ing

in the sea

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