LEADING short break provider Center Parcs has extended its charity partnership with Together for Short Lives, the UK’s leading children’s palliative care charity, for four more years.
The partnership, which began in 2016, has so far raised over £1.7m for the 99,000 children living with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions and their families in the UK. The funds raised have given vital support to the 54 children’s hospices in the UK, supported by Together for Short Lives.
As well as match-funding donations made by guests when making bookings, Center Parcs colleagues have been taking on their own fundraising challenges across its five villages in England – Whinfell Forest in Cumbria, Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire, Longleat Forest in Wiltshire, Elveden Forest in Suffolk, and Woburn Forest in Bedfordshire, as well as at their Head Office in Nottinghamshire. Each village is partnered with its local children’s hospice for fundraising and volunteering, ensuring colleagues can make a difference in their own communities. From running the London Marathon to holding duck races, hosting auctions to ‘all in a day’ fundraisers, colleagues have been doing all they can to raise vital funds for families caring for a seriously ill child.
Colleagues have also been volunteering at their local children’s hospices and helping to make a difference. This has included renovating sensory gardens and using their specialist skills to help fix and maintain hydrotherapy pools, as well as treating parents to their award-winning spa treatments at the hospice.
Center Parcs has also helped bereaved families and those caring for a seriously ill child have the chance to get away and make memories together. Working with Together for Short Lives’ Family Support Hub, which offers practical, emotional, and financial support to families, Center Parcs has gifted over 100 breaks at its villages to families across the UK.
The Starley family enjoyed a gifted break as part of the Together for Short Lives and Center Parcs partnership. The family shared:
“We went over the first anniversary of losing Margot and it was just the healing time together we needed in her honour. We had so much fun and made lovely new memories while holding Margot’s memory close, as we enjoyed Longleat Safari Park as she had done when she was younger.”
Colin McKinlay, Chief Executive of Center Parcs, said:
“Spending time with those you love and making memories together is at the heart of everything we do at Center Parcs, and that is especially true for families caring for seriously ill children because the time they have together is heartbreakingly short.
“Our partnership works so well, and we have seen amazing engagement from our guests and colleagues – in particular, we value the opportunity to make a difference to families in the communities surrounding our villages. We are so proud to work with Together for Short Lives, supporting their work with the incredible hospices across the UK, and we look forward to raising even more vital funds and welcoming more families to our villages over the next four years.”
Andy Fletcher, Chief Executive of Together for Short Lives, said:
“We are incredibly grateful to the whole Center Parcs team for all they’ve done, and continue to do, for the families we support. For them, life can be incredibly hard. Going out together, and doing things that other families take for granted, is a luxury they simply don’t have when they’re caring for their child 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
“That’s why our partnership is vital – it means that families can go to their local hospices and Center Parcs villages to enjoy their time together and create memories they’ll treasure forever. The phenomenal support from Center Parcs has already made such a meaningful difference to the families we care for, and we can’t wait to see what the next four years will bring.”