Giving Families a Break

Helping families spend quality time together

Mothers’ Union believes in the importance of families and in quality time spent together to build meaningful relationships that strengthen families. Our members encourage family life by being involved in local initiatives that respond to the needs of the community.

Away From It All

Away From It All (AFIA) is a Mothers’ Union holiday scheme, primarily funded by Mothers’ Union members, to help people who are experiencing stress in their family life. Mothers’ Union normally helps with part of the cost of a holiday or with travel expenses, but sometimes can pay for the whole trip. The funds are limited but we will always help as much as we can.

Those hoping to have a holiday don’t have to be a member of a church or organisation and can apply for themselves or recommend someone else for a holiday. The holidays take many different forms. Some are specially organised family weeks where a number of families and a team of volunteers go away together with activities and outings arranged.

Other holidays might take place in mobile homes owned by Mothers’ Union, usually sited near a beach. Some holidays take the form of day trips. We usually try to find the most suitable holiday, because everyone is different.

On average, Mothers’ Union helps 2,500 people to have a holiday each year. Families are able to spend time together away from their stressful situations at home, engage in activities together and have fun. They often experience healing in their relationships by spending this quality time with each other.

I never thought that Mothers' Union would consider me but they gave me the chance to see my first grandchild and that meant so much to me. It has changed my view on what I thought was a group of ‘God-Ladies’ to a group of Ladies that show God cares for people like me."  writes a grandmother who went on one of our holidays.

How to apply

To apply for a Mothers’ Union Away From It All holiday please send us your name and contact details and the number of people who would like to go on the holiday, along with the ages of any children. This information is sent on to a local Mothers’ Union holiday coordinator who will then contact the family and ask them to fill in an application form.(Please note: people can nominate themselves or their friends but anyone applying for a holiday will also be asked to provide details of someone who knows them in a professional capacity, such as a vicar, teacher, social worker).

How to get involved

If you would like to get involved in helping families get the break they need you can:

  • Nominate a family in need of a life-changing holiday.
  • Join today and support the work of Mothers' Union including families on AFIA holidays.
  • Donate now towards the cost of organising these holidays.
  • Pray - join a worldwide network of Christians, constantly upholding our work.

For more information please contact us

Soldier Neil's AFIA journey

Serving soldier Neil from Winchester was just one of the people to benefit from the Mothers’ Union Away From It All holiday scheme. Neil has admitted that "life is better than ever" for his family following his AFIA holiday.

Described as one of the most successful snipers in the British Army, Neil had experienced some horrendous things. Going into hostile territories he had seen mass graves, been shot at more times than he could remember, been blown up and set on fire. He says that "by 2005 I was a broken man, suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder". He felt this prolonged exposure to violent events had led him to become, what he describes as, "murderous, lying, thieving, cheating scum on the verge of alcohol dependency".

Whilst on the holiday he went to the evening reflection where he heard a passage from Matthew's gospel: "Come ye who are heavily laden and I will give you rest". It was then that he first felt God's presence.

With this new belief he started to change from the inside out and his whole family felt the benefit. He went back home and started going to church regularly. This led him to become a committed Christian. Neil has since joined as a Mothers' Union member, serving as an AFIA holiday team volunteer.