Many of us hold precious childhood memories of summer days out. A day at the zoo, burning off energy at an adventure park, or simply building sandcastles at the beach seem like the simplest of pleasures - and ones that many children experience.

Unfortunately, for reasons beyond their control, hundreds of children in Scotland will face six weeks of school holidays with no prospect of fun days out.

That’s why the Summer Days Appeal by Quarriers, one of Scotland’s leading social care charities, is asking for a small donation. Buy a token for £15 and a child in difficult circumstances will be able to feel the sand between their toes, have their imagination sparked by a day at a castle, or let off steam at a theme park.

Gifts of any amount are welcome at www.quarriers.org.uk/summer

HeraldScotland:

As Ruth Park from Quarriers explains, this annual appeal helps children from babies to 16-year-olds, right across the charity’s wide range of services that extend across the country, from Moray to Stranraer and the Borders.

“There are families in Scotland struggling with a wide range of issues,” says Ruth. “The children who benefit from Quarriers Summer Days Appeal can be young carers, children who are experiencing poverty, or children who are affected by disability.

“In 2018, the appeal allowed 937 children to enjoy an unforgettable day out and this year we would like to do even more. A £15 token can help make sure that every child we support has a day out during the summer.

“Many of us will be planning elaborate holidays, but for some children and families just one day out can provide a vital break from everyday problems. To have these experiences is a really important part of growing up.”

HeraldScotland:

Ruth provides some examples of the experiences that are made possible by the appeal.

“Our Family Resource Centre in Ruchazie is very much about getting families out together, but at other services children need a break from what’s going on for them at home, so our support workers accompany the children.

“Children can choose their own day out. One young man wanted to go to the art galleries in Glasgow. A 15-year-old girl who has been in care for many years had never been to a restaurant for Chinese food, so wanted to go out for noodles.

HeraldScotland:

“Our Renfrewshire service helps adults with head injuries, but often their children are affected too, especially as incomes can drop dramatically. When a 14-year-old was asked, he said ‘can I use the money to go the pictures with my pals and get popcorn?’.”

These are all things that most of us take for granted.

A day out gives children the opportunity to try new things, make friends, feel included and just be a kid for the day. The Summer Days Appeal allows us to give a child one day where they can escape the difficult circumstances they find themselves in.

Doesn’t every child deserve that? Gifts of any amount are welcome at www.quarriers.org.uk/summer​


CASE STUDY

Sophie is 10 years old and her wish for this summer is to go to the beach with her mum – just like so many other girls of her age.

The difference is that this is the last summer that Sophie will have with her mum, who has terminal cancer, and the family simply doesn’t have the means to make it happen.

Rhonda is the family’s support worker at Quarriers and says that this one day out would mean so much to such a loving little girl.

“Sophie has a mild learning disability, but goes to mainstream school,” she says. “Her family doesn’t have much and now they are facing the worst imaginable time.”

A donation to the Summer Days Appeal could give Sophie treasured memories of spending valuable time with her mum.

“I am helping Sophie to come to terms with what is happening,” adds Rhonda, “and have organised to take her to child-friendly bereavement counselling sessions at the hospice.

“Sophie’s dad is young. He’s doing his best to look after everyone, but they are all struggling. Sophie needs a break, but this family has so little, they have no hope of financing that.”

Ruth Park says that bereavement is an area that Quarriers recognises as important to help with. “It is such a time of change for children. The mental health services that we have launched in schools help children facing those issues, whether it's the loss of a parent, grandparent or a sibling, or even a divorce.”

All Sophie wants to do is go to the beach with her mum, something that most of us don’t think twice about. A donation of £15 can make that happen.

Take our Summer Days quiz here: