News - Providing a helping hand to local community organisations


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Cheshire West Voluntary Action (CWVA), along with other local organisations, has helped Time Away get up and running so it can provide much-needed support to families in need.

Time Away knows that coming to terms with a life-changing, long-term diagnosis in a young child can be very difficult for families, sourcing short breaks at self-catering holiday accommodation and gifting them to those who need a break.

The initiative was set up by Alex and Ilmarie Braun following the birth of their second son Eddie, who had suffered a bleed on his brain in utero and went on to develop several significant challenges.

Over the years, Alex and Ilmarie experienced many of the wide range of emotions and challenges that are often involved in caring for a child with serious health problems, truly understanding the value of support.

CWVA has been an important source of support for Time Away, receiving advice as it set up as a charitable incorporated organisation (CIO) in January 2022 and taking part in various training courses to upskill themselves.

Alex, Founder of Time Away, said: “My first engagement with CWVA was through Joanne Stanton for the accreditation and setting up process.

“For me, it was useful to have someone to bounce thoughts off and gather feedback on decisions I intended to make.

“After that, the range of courses on offer was really helpful as I was coming from a different world and the courses gave me an initial insight into other charities and working in the sector.

“Meeting different people on the courses was invaluable and I was able to gain training in certain areas where I needed to demonstrate the charity was ready to operate, such as safeguarding and fundraising.

“I’ve had a lot of support from different people and CWVA was part of a group of individuals and organisations that have helped myself and Time Away on our journey so far.

“If any other organisations are looking to start up and need support, I’d definitely recommend them to get in touch with CWVA.”

Time Away has been a real successful story, with more than 100 families already enjoying a break or being booked on one for spring and summer 2023.

One of the families added: “We haven’t had a break for four years and we were absolutely blown away by the kindness of people. Not only the couple who started Time Away, but also the owner of the holiday property.

“It was a massive break for us all and we thoroughly enjoyed our time there.

“We’ve never managed a holiday and thought it was out of bounds for us, but Time Away definitely proved that we can have a break and downtime all together.”

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