Leading short break provider Center Parcs has just announced they have raised more than half a million pounds for UK charity Together for Short Lives.
The two organisations worked together previously, with the provision of Center Parcs breaks to families supported by the charity, before Together for Short Lives was chosen as the company’s main charity partner in June 2016.
With family time at the heart of what they do, both organisations are committed to raising money and awareness for the charity and the families they help. More than 49,000 children in the UK are living with a life-limiting condition and only 10% of the funds needed to keep the family support services and 54 children’s hospices open are provided by the Government. This means the charity heavily relies on public and corporate fundraising.
In the last two years and five months, with the help of generous staff and guests, Center Parcs has raised funds which have included guest donations when making a short break booking and match-funding from the company. Center Parcs villages around the UK have also been busy raising money for their local hospices through activities such as rubber duck races down the Wild Water Rapids, raffles and sponsored challenges.
Martin Dalby, Center Parcs' CEO, said: “We are a successful business and it has always been important to me that we give something back. This partnership has been amazing because we have been able to make a difference to families with less time than most, nationally and locally. It’s not just the funds raised and awareness we have helped to spread but also the relationships that have been created and the opportunities to lend our energy and expertise to hospice projects through the volunteering programme too. I’m so proud of the team and all the energy and enthusiasm they have invested in this partnership.”
Andy Fletcher, Together for Short Lives' CEO, said: “I am extremely proud of our amazing partnership with Center Parcs. To have reached over £500,000 in such a short space of time is staggering and it will make a huge contribution to funding lifeline children’s hospice services across the UK. Thank you so much to everyone at Center Parcs.”
Center Parcs and Together for Short Lives initially agreed on a two year partnership in 2016 but, after the success of the first year, this was extended to four years. The money raised by the company is shared by hospices throughout the UK, with 85% of village-specific fundraising going to each partner hospice and the rest going to Together for Short Lives to support their work across the children’s palliative care sector.
Together for Short Lives works with the 54 children’s hospices across the UK that support seriously ill children and their families.
Notes to Editors
- Center Parcs UK has been a separate company to Center Parcs Europe since 2001; the two organisations only share a brand name and the core concept of family short breaks in the forest.
- Center Parcs UK has five villages across the UK; Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire, Elveden Forest in Suffolk, Longleat Forest in Wiltshire, Whinfell Forest in Cumbria and Woburn Forest in Bedfordshire. Each village is nestled within 350-400 acres of woodland with a variety of activities to choose from, restaurants and cafes. There is also a Subtropical Swimming Paradise and award-winning spa called Aqua Sana.
- Center Parcs UK offers weekend, (Friday to Monday) or midweek (Monday to Friday) breaks and welcomes more than 2.1 million guests each year, with 96% of guests expressing an intention to return. Visit England recently awarded the company five stars for all sites (scoring each village between 90% and 98%), making comments about the friendly nature and efficiency of the staff and the quality and cleanliness of the facilities.
- As the leader in the UK short break holiday market, Center Parcs UK achieves average annual occupancy in excess of 97%.