When your child is having any type of treatment for retinoblastoma it’s a challenging time for the whole family, so it can help to unwind and spend time together away from the hospital.

There are many organisations which offer holidays to families whose children are having – or have had – treatment for cancer, or have a visual impairment. Holidays are often subject to availability so check each organisation’s criteria before applying.

General breaks

Alice’s Escapes

Offers family holidays in the Lake District to children with illnesses and their families.

Contact 01229 581665 or enquiries@alices-escapes.co.uk.

Calum’s Cabin

Offers two holiday retreats on the Isle of Bute, Scotland.

Contact 07544 979538 or enquiries@calumscabin.com.

Donna’s Dream House

A holiday home in the heart of Blackpool providing free breaks for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. Guests also receive tickets for local attractions and meals. Referrals can be made via your support worker or directly.

Contact 01253 752222 or lencurtis@btconnect.com.

Family Fund

Offers a range of grants which can be used for breaks in the UK (eg Butlins, Haven and abroad (eg Inspire).

Contact 01904 550055 or info@familyfund.org.uk.

Kids Cancer Charity

Offers holidays in luxury caravans on the Welsh coast, three-day breaks at Disneyland Paris and accommodation for Disney World Florida.

It’s advisable to speak to your support worker about this first as it may impact on your ability to apply for a Wish at a later stage.

Contact 01792 480500 or enquiries@kidscancercharity.org.

Lennox Children’s Cancer Fund

A luxury caravan and a log cabin on the English coast for families to use. They can sometimes also provide some spending money. Referrals can be made via your support worker or direct.

Contact 01708 734366 or info@lennoxccf.org.uk.

Look

A charity supporting visually impaired children and their families. Members can hire a two bedroom holiday flat in Scarborough at low cost.

Contact 01432 376314 or info@look-uk.org.

The Oliver Curd Trust

Provides fully equipped holiday caravans in East Sussex for children with cancer and their families.

Call 01797 230329 or email enquiries@theolivercurdtrust.co.uk.

Torbay Holiday Helpers Network

Provides holidays and travel grants to families who have seriously ill children. Availability is very limited during school holidays. Referrals must be made by your support worker.

Hospital charities

Some of the treatment hospitals have associated cancer charities which support local children. A number of these support groups also have caravans which you can use, so it is worth finding out what your local cancer charity can do.

For the Birmingham Children’s Hospital Holiday Fund, applications are made by your support worker. You can find more local trusts and charities offering support on the Turn2Us website: grants-search.turn2us.org.uk.

Wishes and special days

For families of children who are being treated at the Royal London Hospital, Wishes are organised through the play specialist. Families of children who are being treated at Birmingham Children’s Hospital can apply through their support worker.

Les Hoey MBE Dreammaker Foundation

Grants wishes for children and their siblings in Scotland going through treatment for life threatening illnesses, and offers holiday homes at Craig Tara holiday park in Ayr.

Contact 01698 651789 or contact@leshoeymbedreammakerfoundation.org.

Make a Wish

Grants wishes to enrich the lives of children aged 3-17 years, fighting life threatening conditions. Referrals can be made direct or via your support worker.

Contact 01276 405070 or referrals@makeawish.org.uk.

Rays of Sunshine

Offers children a chance to make a dream come true through granting wishes and organising outings and events for children with illnesses. Referrals for children aged 3-18 years can be made by your Rb team or direct.

Contact 020 8782 1171 or office@raysofsunshine.org.uk.

Check out other wish charities at bdfa-uk.org.uk/wish-granting-organisations.

Holidays for older children

Barretstown, Ireland

Free, specially designed family, teen and sibling camps for children (infant to 17) and their families living with a serious illness. Contact 00 353 4586 4115 or info@barretstown.org.

Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust

Rebuilds confidence after cancer, using sailing to support, empower and inspire young people aged 8-24 in embracing their future with optimism. Contact your support worker for information.

Katie’s Ski Tracks

Provides ski holidays for ill and disabled children, as well as children from disadvantaged backgrounds, aged 7-15 years.

Contact 0151 928 7595 or info@katiesskitracks.org.

Over The Wall

Offers free residential activity camps for children and teenagers (8-17) with serious health challenges to enable them to reach beyond their perceived limitations and rediscover a new world of possibilities. Siblings and family camps are also available.

Contact 02392 477110 or info@otw.org.uk.

Sail 4 Cancer

Provides sailing and other water based respite days and holidays for cancer patients and their families. Applications require signed forms from an oncology professional.

Contact 0845 408 1849.

Holidays for teenagers or adults

Jubilee Sailing Trust

A charity promoting integration through the challenge and adventure of tall ship sailing to people aged 16 and over.

Contact 02380 449108 or info@jst.org.uk.

Revitalise

Provides short breaks and holidays (respite care) for disabled people and carers aged 18 or over.

Contact 0303 303 0145 or info@revitalise.org.uk.

The Willow Foundation

Willow works with seriously ill people aged 16-40 to arrange uplifting and unforgettable Special Days. To be eligible you must be receiving treatment for a life threatening illness.

Contact 01707 259777or info@willowfoundation.org.uk.

Youth Cancer Trust

Offers free, activity based holidays in Bournemouth for people aged 14-30 with cancer, or in remission for up to five years, or living with the late effects of having had cancer as a teenager.

Contact 01202 763591 or admin@yct.org.uk.

Please note: Some charities offer a complete package but with others you may have to contribute towards the costs – for example you may need to organise and buy your own flights, arrange holiday insurance or make travel arrangements. Often the organisation can assist in doing this so it’s worth asking about all of their services.

CHECT is unable to recommend specific organisations and is not responsible for the content of their websites. For more information, please speak to your CHECT support worker.

This information is also available in a leaflet which you can download here.

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