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A report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation concluded that 26% of children in Scotland still live on or below the official poverty line. Many of these children live in Glasgow.
What we do
At GCHS, we aim to provide breaks for children and families who are disadvantaged or socially excluded. By doing this, we hope to help motivate children to break out of what might be a longstanding family cycle of poverty and experience fun and enjoyment in a safe and constructive way.
We offer three choices of holiday depending on the needs and preferences of the child and family:
Volunteer host family holidays
Children can stay for a week during the summer holidays with a volunteer host family, sharing their lives with them. Hosts live throughout Scotland, from Elgin to the Borders. The experience is often eye-opening, enhancing children’s self-esteem and confidence, and in many cases a supportive relationship develops between hosts and children, helping them through a difficult period in their young lives.
The results can be dramatic: children can stay on for further education or training for employment, helping them to achieve new-found goals. Many of these children return to their host families annually for 5 or 6 years.
Teen Ranch Activity Centre
The number of Teen Ranch holidays increased again in 2011 to meet demand. The children are aged 10 to 16 and their feedback suggests the only problem is that it is one week and not two!
On average the scheme supports over 450 children annually.
Thanks to the recent purchase of a fifth totally wheelchair accessible caravan, from 2012 150 families will be able to enjoy a £30 caravan holiday, which can make a real difference to families. The caravans will also be available for inner city youth group activity weekends, giving young people a break and the opportunity to enjoy outdoor activities with their youth leaders.
Referrals for this scheme come from social workers, teachers, health visitors, clergy, various voluntary organisations and community groups. We also work with East End Young Carers and Ruchazie Community Church groups to identify the young people and families who will most benefit from a break. Other referrals come from throughout Glasgow.
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