More than 800 families facing tough times will be given holidays and trips thanks to a new government fund.

Parents, carers, and young people experiencing difficulties will be given breaks in England over the next few months.

The £600,000 “England for Everyone” initiative – which is funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport – will allow those struggling financially to get away, as well as those facing illness, isolation or bereavement.

Run in partnership with VisitEngland and the Family Holiday Charity, the fund will offer trips to campsites, chalets, caravans and lodges across the country.

Families who may never have had a holiday before – or for more than four years – can be referred to the charity by people such as social workers or teachers.

Holiday vouchers will be provided to help cover transport, accommodation and food for the trips, which will be worth up to £450 each.

VisitEngland will also work closely with holiday parks to include free on-site activities.

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Tourism minister Nigel Huddleston said: “Holidays provide a vital opportunity for people to reset, spend quality time together and improve their mental wellbeing.

“But for many families taking a break can be impossible.

“Following the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are helping families facing particularly tough times to have a much-needed break while supporting our brilliant tourism and hospitality sector.”

The government pointed to research by the Family Holiday Charity that shows short breaks can have huge benefits, with 85% of families finding children who had a break were going to school more regularly.

And 84% said children were less isolated and getting more involved in their community since returning home.

The charity has helped more than 48,000 families since launching in 1975, with its eligibility criteria including low income and other factors such as long-term illness, bereavement, disability, domestic abuse or additional caring responsibilities.

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Chief executive Kat Lee said: “Access to a holiday is simply out of reach for many UK families, but this scheme will see children, mums, dads and carers able to take a holiday, some for the first time ever.

“Holidays bring wellbeing and mental health benefits, and the opportunity to try new things and think differently. On holiday, families make memories that help when times get tough.

“And families who have experienced a Family Holiday Charity break are more confident, better able to engage with learning and play a more active part in their communities.”

VisitEngland director Andrew Stokes said his organisation wanted “everyone to be able to take a short family break and benefit from spending time together, reconnecting and recovering from the pandemic”.