Published by the Surf Coast Times on 23rd December 2021
When the Magical Getaway Foundation met 10 year old Sam, his three sisters and mum at the reception of Lorne hotel Mantra earlier this month, his smile was from ear to ear.
When the family walked into the two-bedroom self-contained unit, their home for the next six days, Sam’s eyes were sparkling and he yelled “Wow, this is a dream come true! The beds are so soft.”
It was the first holiday for the family of five, who are all victims of family violence, and was provided via the MGF and its supporting businesses.
“For so many of us, holidays/getaways during the COVID lockdowns and restrictions seemed a distant memory. MGF director and founder Rosemary Teed said.
“We felt trapped, helpless, lonely, isolated, stuck; with no hope. But for all the children and families that the Magical Getaway Foundation supports, this is their relentless reality; there are no holidays, they are just a dream.”
Sam and his family enjoyed five nights at the Mantra and visits to Lorne Sea Baths, Otway Fly and the Great Ocean Road Wildlife Park during their getaway.
“Our thanks are extended to the four local businesses for their ongoing support which is
so invaluable and greatly appreciated.” Ms Teed said.
“In return, the family will provide a written statement to the Foundation about the impact of their first ever holiday; so their story can be shared with others.”
The MGF says it is the only national charity dedicated to social tourism, which the foundation describes as “providing access to breaks away from home for people who would otherwise be excluded”.
“Research shows that holidays improve well-being, reduce stress, increase self-esteem and
strengthen family communication and bonding.” Ms Teed said.
“They create lifetime treasured memories and increased community participation, while decreasing social isolation.
“These getaways are more than just a holiday. They represent a clean break and a sign that things can change.
“It's not about the holiday; it's what the getaway brings; hope.”
*Pseudonyms have been used to protect the family’s identity.