As this newsletter wings its way to you, we hope your Christmas plans are coming together smoothly and that you’ll be able find some peace and calm amongst the tinsel and mince pies.

ABOAB had a fabulously Christmassy weekend at the annual Christmas Tree Festival at St Margaret’s Church in Ilkley. It’s a beautiful event that brings together Ilkley’s many charities and community organisations and fills St. Margaret’s with Christmas trees, lights, music and song.  It made for an uplifting atmosphere and led to some fabulous conversations about ABOAB.

Decorating the tree is also a brilliant way for some of Ange’s Ilkley friends to come together and remember her. We covered the tree with baubles and bows in the ABOAB colours as well as traditional luggage tags with quotes from some of our guests. ‘Can’t believe it!’, ‘So much more than a holiday’, ‘Treasured time together’, and ‘Precious memories’.

Reading these words is a great reminder of how much joy a break can bring to a family.

Gift a Break this Christmas
While we’re talking about Christmas, don’t forget our new Gift a Break vouchers. They’re a brilliant gift and are available in multiples of £10 or £25. We can send voucher(s) by email for you to print off at home or post them within a nice presentation card for a small extra fee of £2.50. Contact to order your gift vouchers.

The Ilkley Understated Cycling Group’s homemade Christmas fundraiser!

What a wonderful Christmas Craft fundraiser from Ilkley’s Understated cycling group! Everything homemade and contributed by those talented ladies!
Donations totalled a staggering £917 which means at least 6 or even 7 more families living with a terminal illness can take a much needed holiday at no cost to themselves. Big big thanks to Rachel Websdale for opening up her home and hosting the Christmas social.

Gift an ABOAB hoodie and T-shirt this Christmas

Our hoodies and t-shirts also make lovely gifts, and the good news is that we still have a few left in a range of sizes. All we ask for is a donation of £25 for hoodies and £15 for t-shirts to cover the cost. Paula has all the information on sizing and can arrange deliveries too so get in touch and bagsie yours!

Remember to Gift Aid!

Please remember that if you are making a donation and you’re a taxpayer, you can add Gift Aid which increases your gift by 25%. Thank you, every little helps!

As a Locality Worker for Carers’ Resource, my role is to support unpaid carers to improve their situation and the situation of the person they are caring for. A few days away, in beautiful holiday accommodation and in lovely surroundings, is a wonderful resource to be able to offer carers and their loved ones. We have seen what a positive impact this break from daily life has on families, giving them the opportunity to build precious and lasting memories together.”
Rachel H

Property in the spotlight

We’re chuffed to bits that two Premier Cottages property owners have signed up to become  part of the ABOAB community and we’re hoping more will follow in 2024. A massive ABOAB welcome to the Llanfendigaid Estate in Gwynedd, West Wales and Unique Retreats in Whitby area, Yorkshire Coast are all part of the Premier Cottages family.

We’re especially thrilled because their properties are beautiful and  tend to be in clusters of 6-8 or more cottages with on-site facilities and activities. Some even have an indoor swimming pool, all of which is perfect for our families.

Many of the properties are accessible too which is especially welcome and why we’re shining the spotlight on this fabulous property on the Llanfendigaid Estate. The Cow Shed sleeps six, is all on one level, wheelchair accessible and even has a walk-in, en-suite shower. Big thanks to owners Lisa and Gareth for such an enthusiastic and immediate response to the idea of partnering with us.

Grants and donations – thank you!

We’re delighted that the Sir James Reckitt Charity based in East Yorkshire has awarded us a small grant. The charity has links to the Quaker movement and supports the promotion of social, material, and moral welfare. We’ll keep the Trustees updated on our work gifting holidays to people who are terminally ill and hope to extend our referrals across into East Yorkshire in due course.

We’re also hugely grateful to Ilkley Wharfedale Rotary Club for their £500 donation to help fund more holidays for struggling families.

We want to sign off this newsletter with some words we’ve just received from a family that stayed at Apple Tree Barn nr Alnwick a few weeks ago. Apple Tree Barn is owned by Ilkley-based Lisa McLoughlin who lists the holiday home with Coquet Cottages.

“It was brilliant, just lovely from start to finish! We came back really feeling the benefit. Our middle son, wife and granddaughter went for the first few days then our eldest son, wife and another granddaughter for the rest of the week. And two dogs! The house had absolutely everything we needed and when we left a phone behind, Lisa rang us before we were even home and arranged to drop it off. So kind. We will never forget the experience of walking on a sandy beach in the snow!”