Together for Short Lives
Call the Helpline 0808 8088 100

Center Parcs

Center Parcs staff involved in a fundraising activity
Staff from Center Parcs Elveden Forest during their A-Z Challenge

In June 2016, we launched an incredible four-year partnership with leading UK short-break holiday provider, Center Parcs. Together for Short Lives and Center Parcs share a passion for creating quality family time. For more than 30 years, Center Parcs has provided short breaks to thousands of families, giving them the chance to take a few days out of normal daily life to spend time together and take joy in the little things. Through our partnership, Center Parcs staff have shown great enthusiasm for helping families with seriously ill children make the most of their precious time together as well – raising over £700,000 for local children’s hospices in just under three years.

All five Center Parcs villages, plus their Head Office and Contact Centre teams, are taking part in raising funds and awareness for their local children’s hospices.

Fundraising activities have included everything from racing toy ducks and cycle challenges to A-Z activity challenges and sky dives!

Center Parcs also matches all guest booking donations and donate a number of short breaks every year to enable families like Sienna’s to spend quality time together.

Sienna has a life-limiting condition and intractable epilepsy that leaves her with very fragile health, unable to walk or talk. Parents Kay and Andy often find their focus is heavily weighted on Sienna’s needs and for the family of five to take an active holiday break in the past they have had to organise alternative care for Sienna.

Thanks to Center Parcs, the family were able to take a short break all together at Woburn Village in Bedford, only a few hours drive from their home last Autumn.

“We all felt refreshed after our holiday. For us to have an active holiday we often have to rely on respite care for Sienna but we always feel the empty space in our hearts when she cannot be with us. To have her with us on this break with all the facilities we needed, filled our hearts with joy. It was so good to take time out just to have fun being a family.”

Mum, Kay
Sienna on her short break at Center Parcs

Center Parcs colleagues not only work hard to raise funds to support their local children’s hospice services, but they also dedicate their time to volunteering for the hospices as well. Every Center Parcs village has had their staff involved in some form of volunteering for their local hospice; from working in their charity shops to helping out with garden work and more.

Longleat Forest had a team of their staff volunteer at Children’s Hospice South West to ‘bring Center Parcs to the hospice’ for families staying there – with manicures for mums, nature talks, face painting, games and more. Sherwood Forest also dedicated their time to refreshing Bluebell Wood’s garden – creating a beautiful fairy garden for children and families to enjoy there.

The five children’s hospices directly benefiting from the partnership are:

  • Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice
  • Children’s Hospice South West
  • East Anglia Children’s Hospice
  • Jigsaw Children’s Hospice
  • Keech Children’s Hospice
  • £700,000

    raised so far for children's hospices

Center Parcs teams have raised funds through a wide variety of activities, for example:

  • Longleat Forest General Manager Andy De’Ath completed a Blazing Saddles cycle ride across California covering 575km and raising over £10,000
  • Four members of staff entered The London Marathon 2017 and raised £10,000
  • Head Office teams held a charity Spin-A-Thon, raising an amazing £4,000
  • A Coast to Coast Cycle challenge took a couple of Sherwood Forest team members cycling 140 miles from Whitehaven to Tynemouth, raising over £1,000
  • Center Parcs activities from A-Z were completed at Elveden Forest, raising an amazing £4,823
  • The Whinfell Swimathon Team raised a fantastic £1,000 and nearly beat their previous record with 190 lengths in 50 minutes
  • Woburn Forest teams held a fantastic Family Fun Day, raising over £8,000

I’m very proud of Center Parcs and its charitable giving over the years. We take our responsibility to help local and national causes very seriously and I’m very excited to see how, in partnership with Together for Short Lives, Center Parcs can help support families and young people giving them precious quality time together.

Martin Dalby, CEO Center Parcs

In 2019 our partnership won a Better Society Award for ‘Best scheme to encourage staff fundraising – long term partners’.

To find out more about Center Parcs, visit their website.

Get involved

To find out how your company can make a lifetime of difference to families in desperate need, call Beccy Fellows on 0117 989 7827 or email beccy.fellows@togetherforshortlives.org.uk