A bicycle on a grassy clifftop edge, silhouetted against an inky blue sea, white clouds and a lowering sun

Autumn 2023: latest news from the ABOAB community

The warmest of October welcomes to you all. This is where we bring you the latest news from our ABOAB community including dates for your diary, new ways to support us, a gorgeous feature property and we hear from a family who’ve just had a fabulous break in Northumberland.

Before you dive in though, did you know we’re on Instagram as well as Facebook now? It’s a brilliant way for us all to stay connected and we’re thrilled that Aoife and Lucy – two of our favourite teens – are helping us. They make it all seem so easy and they’re Ange’s (our founder’s) nieces which means they’re passionate about ABOAB.  So, come and join us and help spread the word.  

Stay warm this winter in your ABOAB hoodie

We still have a small number of hoodies and T shirts available (modelled here by Matthew, Paula and Tim on the left, Aoife and Lucy on the right) from our first batch at the original price of £15 for T shirts and £25 for hoodies (including P&P). We’re pretty sure they’ll be in demand with the downturn in temperature so we’re getting further supplies made pronto.

You can place your order with Paula and check sizing, and availability too. This new batch will be a little more expensive – £18 for T shirts and £30 for hoodies – still a great price considering the quality. We don’t make any profit on them, it simply covers our costs, including postage, but they’re a great conversation starter and a brilliant way to spread the word!

Gift a break vouchers available this Christmas

New for Christmas 2023 are our Gift a break vouchers. They’re a simple way to ‘gift’ a donation to ABOAB in lieu of sending your loved one a present. You might have heard of Oxfam’s ‘Buy a Goat’ and ‘Toilet Twinning’ to help improve sanitation standards, so how about ‘Gifting a Break’ so that a family can spend precious time together.

Available in multiples of £10 or £25 we can send them by email for you to print at home or by post with a presentation card for a small extra fee of £2.50. Contact rachel@abitofabreak.com to find out more and order your Gift a break vouchers.

Talking of Christmas, if you’re near Ilkley on Friday 8 December pop along to St. Margaret’s Church on Queens Road where ABOAB is taking part in the Christmas Tree Festival again. It’s a beautiful festival with free entry and refreshments on offer too.

We’re not sure how long the new Marine Athletic FC football kit stayed this clean but we loved seeing the team looking so smart in their new ABOAB sponsored kit! Thanks to Dan Willoughby for making this happen. The players, parents and coaches love it, and the team has had so many compliments from other teams too!

Run the Great North Run with ABOAB in 2024

Hailed as one of the UK’s best half marathons, we’re hoping to secure a bundle of charity places for next year’s Great North Run. We’ll kit you out with your own ABOAB running vest and we promise to cheer you on all the way round the route.  Places are precious for this popular half marathon, so please let Paula know if you’re interested as soon as possible (paula@abitofabreak.com) and put the date – Sunday 8th September 2024 –  in your diary NOW!

Never underestimate the power of a break

We’re so pleased that N & A  had such a brilliant break at Swallow’s Rest in Northumberland recently. What a beautiful property and location. Their words and photos sum up perfectly why the holidays we’re able to offer families are so vital. The testimonial also brings to life the message we hear so often from our referrers, that we should never underestimate how much the gift of a holiday is appreciated by the family they refer to us.

“The house was absolutely gorgeous and perfect for us – so spacious – A was easily able to use his wheelchair inside. The huge windows meant there was always something to look at and we were lucky with the weather: visiting the coast, Alnwick Gardens and Cragside – where the six-mile carriage track was great to use his special three-wheeler! Family joined us for some of the week and then some friends too, who were so impressed they’ve booked it for themselves next month and invited us to to return with them!

Even with more than 40 properties on file we’re still looking for more holiday homes, especially those with level access, a ground floor bedroom and easily accessible bathroom. That might mean a bungalow, but it could also be an apartment with level lift access like Cuddy’s Holm in Seahouses or a mobile home with a ramp to the door. Contact Paula with any ideas or suggestions!

Funding for six more families to have a break thanks to the Fred Towler Trust

We’re extremely grateful to the Fred Towler Trust for their recent grant. It’ll cover costs (cleaning, laundry, utilities and travel expenses) for up to six families living with terminal illness to enjoy a holiday.

The Trust’s Holiday Fund allocates monies for people living in the Bradford Metropolitan District who are sick, vulnerable and elderly, to take a holiday. We’re delighted that our application was successful and hope that it’s the start of an ongoing relationship with them.

More fundraising from Worth Valley Supporters Group (WVSG) and Project Lighthouse

Our fabulous supporters at the Worth Valley Supporters Group have been busy running the Tombola at a charity event at Skipton Town Hall on 21st October and organising next year’s Charity Fayre. So, put Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th August 2024 in your diary because they’ll be back at the Old School Room in Haworth and we’re sure it’ll be the same roaring success as this year’s was!

It’ll take more than a bleak and wet cycle ride in Dumfries to put Matthew off his Project Lighthouse cycle rides this winter and he’s always looking out for fellow hardy souls to join him on the occasional winter trip, so get in touch to find out when the next one is pencilled in, and don’t forget your ABOAB hoodie, you’ll need it!

Every penny counts

Every penny raised by our supporters is spent organising and gifting a holiday to a family living with terminal illness. Although the time in properties is gifted free of charge by the property owner, each holiday costs an average of £150 for cleaning, laundry and utilities, which ABOAB pays.

There are also times where we cover guest travel costs because we know it will make the difference between them being able to take a holiday and not. These costs can be in the region of £80 to £100 depending on the distance, and your fundraising makes all of this possible.

Holiday Home in the Spotlight

Mrs Figs House in Oldfield, a hamlet three miles outside Haworth is a new addition to our property portfolio. Located in the heart of Bronte country the cottage has views across to Pendle Hill and the Yorkshire Three Peaks (on a clear day!) and it’s close enough to hear the steam trains at the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway. While the bustle of cafes and shops of Haworth and the Bronte Parsonage Museum are a short drive away, it’s rural location offers a tranquil retreat, safe in the knowledge that the owners are just next door in their farmhouse.

Helping thirty families to have a break in 2023

We’re seeing a steady rise in the number of breaks we can offer since emerging from Covid. In 2021 restrictions meant we could only book five breaks, but this increased to 10 in 2022 and as of the end of October 2023 we’re up to 20 breaks and hoping to hit our target of 30 by the end of the calendar year. Our coordinator Rachel has been extremely busy matching people to properties.

We’ll sign off with a final huge thank you. ABOAB is a fabulous community and we are so grateful for your ongoing support, energy and enthusiasm. Thank you! 

Click here to add your own text

Click here to add your own text