The new Families' Activity Breaks (FAB) website offering bereaved military families the chance to go on an activity holiday in 2011 with people who have suffered similar losses has been launched.
FAB is a non-public-funded, tri-Service charitable initiative which works in partnership with the Youth Hostel Association to provide bereaved military families with activity-based holidays.
The aim of FAB is to provide bereaved military families with an adventurous yet safe environment in order to encourage self-confidence, resilience and peer support whilst having fun.
Staffed by volunteers from all three Services and civil servants from the Ministry of Defence, 2011 is the third year FAB will be providing holidays for families who have suffered the loss of a loved one.
The new website FAB Camps urges families to get involved in this year’s holidays and features easy-to-complete applications for FAB trips.
This year’s holidays will take place in Cornwall and North Yorkshire during July and August.
To date, FAB has helped around 80 bereaved military families by providing them with fun-packed and adventurous breaks.
Amanda Brumpton, who went on a FAB holiday with her children Amy and Connor, said:
We arrived a sad, broken family who’d lost their smiles, and laughed our way through a week of fun. I went from someone who had lost all her confidence to going on live radio, and the last night, when we all celebrated our week, showed how far we’d all come and gave us a glimpse of hope for a future.
We made amazing friends and fantastic memories which I didn’t think we’d ever do again; it was truly a FAB week, and we can’t wait for the next one.
Another mother who has benefited from FAB, Celia Little, said:
For the first time in my entire life I was able to let go of so much emotional baggage that, if they hadn’t taken the time to listen to me, I think in the end would have killed me. Slowly from the inside out, I know it sounds dramatic, but FAB and the volunteers saved my neck.
The FAB holidays are for any bereaved military family with a child under the age of 19 years (accompanying older siblings may attend) who has suffered the loss of a serving loved one regardless of where and how the Service person died.
The military and civilian communities have so far been at the forefront of fundraising and donations to allow FAB to carry out its invaluable service, and the need for continuous monetary contributions continues.
Opportunities to help FAB with fundraising and volunteering also appear on the website.