Together for Short Lives: A letter from Emma Harwood

Close up of flowers in front of lake
04 September 2019

Together for Short Lives: A letter from Emma Harwood

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About Together for Short Lives

Since June 2016 our corporate charity partner has been Together for Short Lives, the UK charity making a lifetime of difference for children expected to have short lives. We are proud to match fund donations made by our guests when booking through our website or Contact Centre, and we donate 25 breaks a year to the charity. Emma Harwood and her family were donated a break and wrote a lovely letter about their experience.

The letter 

“Dear Center Parcs and Together for Short Lives,

Since we heard we had been donated a break we’ve been stunned! What a treat, and for us an adventure in exploring what could be possible for our family juggling an ‘incompatible with life’ Shalome  ̶  our youngest daughter who is now 3 years old! It’s a rollercoaster! Shalome has never been able to travel, but since the wheelchair accessible vehicle we have had successful journeys (no emergency CPR) and we’ve been eager although apprehensive about braving a holiday.

You have given us the confidence boost we needed!

The lodge, accessibility and family focus of Center Parcs thrilled our souls. We, along with all guests, were treated like royalty. And for our eldest, Faith 5yrs, she knew she was gifted this holiday as she’s an exceptional big sister. Your gift has blessed our whole family – more than you can comprehend.

We bonded like never before as the whole experience was inclusive, accessible and welcoming of all.”

Emma shared some lovely photos of their treasured memories from Center Parcs (pictured left)

“For Faith, her favourite was the nature reserve…exploring the grand outdoors, Shalome certainly reacted most to the pottery experience. Dad, Colin, commented on the tranquillity of not having cars on-site and everything being so convenient. Myself, mum Emma-Jayne loved a week of ease and reactions of the whole family at the falconry session.

We brought paternal grandparents along, Grandad is a wheelchair user and Grandma cares for him plus helping with Shalome in her ups and downs. This holiday was a thank you to them too. And the bonus for us was a date night!

Center Parcs deserves an incredibly special thank you too: the lady who checked us in was genuinely interested in us as a crew; Richard at falconry dealt so incredibly well with Shalome and included her in everything; the pottery experience staff went above and beyond even donating postage and items for memory making. We feel blessed beyond words.

Our recent family news is we are expecting baby no3. We’re hoping for health, and that they will meet our Shalome. We’ve loved having this holiday to celebrate. We’ve returned home feeling rejuvenated, refreshed and ready for our next lap.

We will never forget this holiday and your generosity. The staff are all aware of Together for Short Lives and their local children’s hospice, understand the work they do and are clearly very passionate about it.

Thank you, beyond words.”

Our partnership

During our partnership with Together for Short Lives, we hope to raise awareness and vital funds to support the 49,000 children living with life-limiting conditions, and their families, in the UK.


Emma handed bugs to investigate
Emma and her family at pottery painting
Owl sits with Emma and her family
Family together with Emma

Center Parcs author

This blog post was written by a former colleague of Center Parcs; the content in the post is still relevant for you to keep up to date with all things Center Parcs.

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