A SKIPTON charity dedicated to supporting disadvantaged families is celebrating a major milestone - providing free respite breaks to 5,000 children from Yorkshire.

The Principle Trust provides respite holidays for children who are underprivileged, disadvantaged, disabled, have life-limiting conditions, or who have experienced poverty, trauma or abuse.

Every year the charity receives hundreds of referrals from social services, schools and other organisations, including families from across Craven, who are referred by Skipton based organisations IDAS, Carer’s Resource and Brougham Street Nursery.

Launched in 2011, the trust was established by Ilkley businessman Mike Davies, MBE. Inspired by his own traumatic childhood Mr Davies wanted to offer respite breaks to children experiencing long term, life threatening or limiting illnesses disabilities, mental health issues or social deprivation.

Over the last 12 years the trust has raised more than £1.6million and has purchased six holiday homes, four near Blackpool and two on the banks of Lake Windermere where children and their families can go for much needed breaks.

This week will see the 5,000th child cross the threshold at one of charity’s fully accessible Lake District lodges. For the family, who wish to remain anonymous, it will be a chance to escape their everyday troubles and create valuable, happy memories – the kind many of us take for granted.

Mr Davies said: “Every week we receive heartwarming feedback from the families who stay in our lodges; for them it is an opportunity to escape some of their daily struggles and spend quality time together. To have reached 5,000 children is an achievement which has been made possible by our amazing network of fundraisers, patrons and supporters.”

Despite the challenging economic climate, the trust remains committed to extending its services and supporting more families across the region. In 2023 the charity launched ‘Food for Families’, an ongoing initiative to help tackle food poverty by providing one week’s supply of daily essentials to families staying at their holiday homes near Blackpool.

The trust, which recently completed a six-figure refurbishment of its accessible lodges, is supported by fundraisers and corporate patrons across Craven District including: Skipton Properties, Cross Hills; Crag and Co Accountants, Skipton; Health and Wellbeing Brands, Skipton; Hunters Estate Agents, Skipton; Tax Assist Accountants, Skipton; Health Innovations, Skipton; Vitrion, Skipton; The Secret Drawer, Skipton; Westrow Hair Salon, Skipton; Sutcliffe Construction, Hellifield; Mobili Office Furniture, Skipton, and Principle Healthcare, Skipton.

For more information visit www.theprincipletrust.co.uk