What is FAB?
Families’ Activity Breaks (FAB) is a tri-service charity, providing fun and challenging activity camps around the UK for bereaved military families.
We provide our families with an adventurous holiday experience within a safe and nurturing environment in order to encourage self-confidence, resilience and peer support whilst having fun and building new memories. FAB provides an opportunity for the military community to offer practical and emotional support to bereaved families in times of need.
What happens on a camp?
Every camp is different. In 2019 we had the pleasure of staying in beautiful Osmington Bay in Dorset! We stayed on site for activities such as camp fires, climbing and giant swings, as well as having had the opportunity to do water sports such as raft building and dragon boat racing at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Centre. It was a non-stop week, and the families thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Families are free to pick and choose which activities they want to take part in, but we will encourage you to join in wherever possible, so that you get the most out of your experience.
Ultimately this is your family’s holiday, you are under no obligation to take part in everything, so you can join in as and when you want to.
Who is eligible?
Families are eligible if a child is aged up to 19 years old and has suffered the loss of a loved one who was serving in the Armed Forces. The holidays offer an adventure for all the family and a welcome break to meet and socialise with others who have experienced a similar loss. A loved one can mean a parent, a step-parent, or a child’s legal guardian, carer or sibling. We aim to be as flexible and inclusive as possible providing activity breaks to our families based on the need of children. We welcome returning families, as well as those who have not joined us before. We pride ourselves on creating intimate camps where new families quickly become part of the ‘FAB Family’ and returning families and volunteers become a support to them.
Who runs the camps?
FAB is staffed by volunteers from the Armed Forces, Defence civilians, and Ex-Service personnel, helping as mentors, lending a helping hand or simply being someone to talk to. They are all trained by a bereavement counselling service who specialise in supporting children and young adults facing bereavement.
Our camps also have mentors – people who have attended FAB Camps in the past as part of a bereaved family and have now returned, providing additional help and support to our newer FAB families. We’re so proud of them and pleased that children who benefited from FAB in its very early days are now getting involved themselves and helping others in similar situations.
Support during your break
All families will be supported by a volunteer, and you will also have access to a bereavement counsellor throughout your stay. The FAB camps are not intended as bereavement holidays, but we recognise that families may need some support during the week even if it is just someone friendly to talk to.
The cost per family is a £75 non-refundable deposit, this is all you pay. You will receive full board, accommodation and all programmed activities at no additional cost to you.
How do I find out more?
Visit our website – fabcamps.org.uk – for more details. We recognise that you may be nervous about attending a camp, which is why our Families’ Lead is available to talk you through the whole process, giving you an opportunity to understand if it is right for you – please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Quote from a family at Osmington Bay:
“What an amazing week we had with FAB camp in Osmington Bay, Weymouth. We were put in touch with this amazing charity who do activity holidays for families who have lost someone serving in the armed forces. Being our first camp, we had no idea what to expect and some of the activities were certainly going to be out my comfort zone. I can honestly not thank the FAB team and volunteers enough for the support, fun, laughter and tears (also tears of laughter) that we have had this week. The friends and memories we have made and stories we have shared will never be forgotten. The time that was spent to help us as a family and most importantly the girls individually with their emotions and grief is beyond words. Our eldest daughter has grown so much, stepped out her comfort zone and made a huge break through. We feel we have her old self coming back that we haven’t seen in probably in the last 18 months. Our youngest daughter has certainly learned to understand her emotions better and realise she isn’t alone in her feelings. We will be eternally grateful to the whole team at FAB. Can’t wait till next year and do it again!”