Life is hectic for Sherifa. Working long shifts and bringing up three children, the youngest being just one year old, means she is often exhausted with no time for herself. After a breakdown in her relationship, Sherifa found herself with nowhere to live. Now back on her feet and in temporary accommodation, a family weekend break to the seaside made all the difference.
Sherifa works hard. Working from early mornings to 8pm as a healthcare assistant in the hospital is tough for this mum of three. There isn’t a lot of family time and on her days off she tries to rest, cuddling up with the baby, whilst the older children play or watch some Netflix.
Her 12-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son both go to school, but Sherifa can’t afford expensive childcare so has to rely on a good friend to help out with looking after her baby whilst she is at work.
When her relationship with her husband started to break down, Sharifa felt at a crossroads:
“I thought my husband was there to support me, but it was difficult emotionally. I decided that I had to be on my own, I felt like I couldn’t win.
Despite the marital breakdown, Sherifa still sees her husband, she knows how important it is for the children to grow up knowing their dad; they love to spend time with him and get on very well.
Family Holiday Charity arranged for the family to take a 3-night break in a caravan on the South coast of England. They had never been on holiday before as a family and when the children first heard the news, they were so excited, exclaiming,
For Sherifa, the break offered a change of scene, an opportunity to be somewhere new with nothing to worry about.
The whole family, including dad, travelled down on a Friday night at the beginning of October. Sherifa explained, “The kids love their dad, and they would have expected him to be there, so he came along as it was best for them.”
During their weekend stay, the family enjoyed lots of fun holiday activities. For the kids, they loved the onsite swimming pool and took every opportunity to get in the water.
They spent hours in the arcades, playing on the penny machines and winning little treasures to take home and show their friends.
There were ice creams and takeaway chips and a special milkshake that was enjoyed so much that the cup was brought back home as a keepsake!
A favourite memory for Sherifa was when the whole family explored the site on a big pedal go-kart, but the caravan was a hit with everyone:
“The kids loved the caravan; they were hanging out on the balcony making videos.
When looking back on their break, Sherifa said it gave her time to unwind and to have a little break away from the housework, school runs and work, giving her space and breathing time.
She remembers, “I felt so refreshed and relaxed after coming back. I was in a different head space because I had had a break and going back to work, I felt really great.
“For the children, they got to try new things and it was a different experience for them. They can go into school and talk to their friends and say that they’ve stayed in a caravan.
My 8-year-old son was so proud to tell his friends ‘I’ve been to the edge of England!’
I’d love to go back again in the summer and have told my friends all about it.”