Need for social policy to recognise that people are excluded when they cannot afford to give their children a holiday
Document Type Article
ACTION ON POVERTY TODAY. Winter 2007 No. 19 ISSN 1649–3796
This research investigated how access to an annual holiday can benefit children living in poverty and their families. It studied children who had the opportunity to avail of a child-centred, structured group holiday provided by three NGOs. Study participants were drawn from a cross-section of disadvantaged areas in Dublin, comprising two inner-city and four suburban areas. Data collection involved 75 children and 35 guardians in the first stage, and 27 children and 16 guardians in subsequent stages. In total, 16 families participated in all stages of the research process, which used qualitative methods, including focus groups, in-depth interviews and observation.
The research found that the children studied clearly benefited from the opportunity to go on holiday. The most obvious benefit lay in being able to get a break from the routine home environment. The break has many effects: it is restorative and it creates opportunities to rest and relax, to be at ease and to harness renewed energies to meet the challenges routinely felt at home.