Give Us Time Conference “The positive impact of respite breaks on military families”

Yesterday Give Us Time held a conference examining the positive impact of respite breaks on military families, focusing on our group trip to Malta last year which was in association with the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre (DMRC). We would like to thank our speakers for making the event such a success and all of those who attended and participated in our discussion.

Professor Scott McCabe from the University of Nottingham spoke on the “Importance of Tourism and Holidays on the Wellbeing of the Individual” and highlighted the hardships that military families can experience, the way that holidays can be thought of as lavish and a luxury but actually how they should be seen as an essential right because of their importance and how needed they are for a family’s wellbeing. The Professor provided several pieces of research highlighting the link between breaks and health, wellbeing and relaxation.

Major Wareham from DMRC then examined cases studies from our group trip to Malta last year from a clinical standpoint as all of the service personnel who went to Malta were patients at the rehabilitation centre. He highlighted one case and the impact of the break on the whole family as well as the service person’s recovery – the respite break “didn’t aid his rehabilitation but was an essential component.”

Our third speaker was our long-time supporter and donor Chris Grech who hosts our fantastic annual group trip to Bulgaria. The host of our trip to Malta to the Azure Resort was unfortunately unable to attend but Chris beautifully emphasised the importance and positive impact of hosting military families from the host’s perspective. Chris also talked about witnessing the visible improvement of some families’ general wellbeing after just one week away together. Chris then spoke about the improvement of his staff’s morale as a result of supporting the families during their stay as well as him personally having made long-term friendships with some families.

The floor was then opened to discussion which turned into one of the key successes of the whole conference and stressed the importance of collaborating with other military charities and potential joint ventures including ways to improve published research on the importance and positive impact that respite breaks can have.

Give Us Time would once again like to thank everybody involved and we look forward to future collaborations and discussions.

For more information on Give Us Time please visit our website www.giveustime.org.uk or email us at enquiries@giveustime.org.uk.

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