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Family walking along beach with sea in background. Son on dad's shoulders while mum holds daughter's hand.

Here at Sykes Holiday Cottages, we are proud of our partnership with Time Away and of our wonderful owners who have donated free holiday accommodation to families caring for a child with a life-changing condition.

Last year, Sykes worked with eight generous owners who donated their holiday accommodation as part of our commitment to enable at least 100 disadvantaged families to go on holiday every year.

Due to the success of this pilot and the impact on families, Sykes is working with the Cheshire-based charity Time Away to continue this impactful initiative.

Discover more about the importance of this partnership and its heart-warming impact on families below…

The Importance of the Time Away Partnership

Time Away is a charity committed to supporting families caring for a child with a serious medical condition, often struggling financially and emotionally, by providing a holiday or short break to help them create precious memories together.

"We are delighted to be partnering with Sykes to give some of the families we support the opportunity to enjoy a much-deserved holiday this year. At Time Away, we want to help people take a break from any of the daily challenges they may face, and we are committed to making that a reality for those who need it most."
Alex Braun
Founder of Time Away
"We're proud to have worked with Time Away to make this a reality for more families this year. A big thanks must go to our amazing owners who have opened up their properties too, helping to provide more families with the opportunity to experience the benefits of travel."
Graham Donoghue
CEO of Sykes Holiday Cottages

The Impact on Families

The Gee Family

After a particularly difficult few years, Time Away helped send The Gee family on holiday. They stayed in a property in South Wales, an area they mentioned they wouldn’t typically have travelled to. This experience offered them the opportunity to explore somewhere new!

The family received lots of sight-seeing ideas from the wonderful owner of the property; with highlights including a day trip to Tenby followed by a boat trip around Caldrey Island, a visit to Laugharne Castle and a day spent on the shores of Pendine Beach. 

"We went to Tenby for the day and went on a boat around Caldery Island, it was amzing! My son was so so excited and happy ... this is something we have never done before and wouldn't normally do as we don't live near the coast."
Gee Family

See some highlights of the Gee family’s holiday below…

When asked about what this holiday meant to them, the Gee family had this to say…

"Time Away helped us heal and have fun as a family again, we laughed, we slept, we ate ice cream and fish and chips! We ran barefoot on the beach. Listened to the birds singing in the garden, took a boat ride, stream train ride and climbed to the top of the castle! The last 2 years had been just heartbreaking and this holiday helped us heal and laugh and smile again, I will be forever grateful."
Gee Family

The O'Brien Family

Their story:

The O’Brien family’s son was born unexpectedly at 32 weeks, and the family were given the heart-breaking news that they should say goodbye, as there was nothing more the hospital could do. 

In a last-ditch attempt to save their son, the hospital managed to operate, giving him an airway that ultimately saved his life. Despite this, their son spent the first year of his life in hospital where he endured countless operations including two open heart surgeries.

" If things were different, we would certainly have been abroad by now and likely have had numerous UK holidays as a family. Given our situation, not only is that practically difficult, it's also a huge financial challenge because as you can imagine taking so much time off work has taken its toll"
O'Brien Family
O'Brien Family

Time Away helped send the O’Brien family to Thrang View, a beautiful cottage in the village of Langdale in Cumbria. Nestled close to both Grasmere and Windermere Lake the family loved everything about the cottage and the location!

On their holiday, they explored local attractions, enjoyed picturesque walks through the hills and tucked into picnics. They even visited the famous Lake Windermere where they paddled and took a boat trip, which their son loved!

"The cottage was perfectly located and big enough to allow us to take some family for support and our carer so we could sleep and enjoy the break together as a family.

Time Away and the generous cottage owners have provided us with memories we will forever be grateful for and at one point, we never thought possible.

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you."
O'Brien Family
"Giving a week at Thrang View to help a family like the O'Briens was really no hardship or inconvenience to us and if we can make such a difference to a family in such a simple way then it is something we would like to repeat every year."
Thrang View

The Future

Sykes Holiday Cottages is thrilled to continue this partnership with Time Away and is committed to helping families like the Gees and O’Briens make cherished lifelong memories. 

We would also like to extend thanks to our owners who donated and continue to donate their cottages; these unforgettable experiences would not be possible without their generosity.

If you’d like to learn more about Sykes Holiday Cottage’s Impact mission head over to the Impact section of our blog. You can also read more in our Impact Report for 2022.

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