On 26th February, Give Us Time, a charity for the Armed Forces, partnered with The Balkan Jewel Resort in Bulgaria to take 97 military personnel and their military families on a seven day all expenses paid holiday to Bulgaria.
This is the second time that Give Us Time and The Balkan Jewel have united to hold this event, in partnership with Diamond Resorts International. The holiday aims to provide military personnel and their families with a place to adjust to life after combat in a fun and relaxing environment.
Give Us Time, which was launched in 2012 by Dr. Liam Fox MP, takes one-week holidays donated by owners and managers of holiday homes, hotels and timeshares and matches them with British soldiers in need of rest, rehabilitation and reconnection with their families. Many of the personnel assisted by Give Us Time have suffered serious injuries and trauma and need support in terms of rebuilding their lives and relationships.
Chris Grech, owner of The Balkan Jewel, approached Give Us Time following the Resort Development Organisation (RDO) Conference in November 2014. Chris was so impressed by the charity’s work that he agreed to make a significant donation of space and open his doors to families looking for a relaxing break.
The Balkan Jewel Resort is located in the Razlog Valley near Bansko, surrounded by Bulgaria’s three mountain ranges Pirin, Rila and the Rhodopes, providing easy access to the ski slopes. In addition to a week’s accommodation, the owner organised a welcome event for all guests and also arranged for local entertainment each evening. Diamond Resorts International® organised transfers from the airport. Give Us Time provided flights for each of the families.
Commenting on the event, Karen Hay, Chief Executive of Give Us Time said: “This is the second year running that Balkan Jewel Resort has become home to military personnel. The event was a great success and we’re pleased and grateful that we are able to keep receiving such generous donations.
“Taking care of our military is extremely important and as a nation, we must look after the families that make sacrifices for us every day. Businesses in hospitality and travel have the power to make a marked difference to those deployed on operational tours, by simply donating rooms or holidays. A simple holiday in a neutral environment, away from the responsibilities of day-to-day life, can have a transformative effect.”
Chris Grech also said: “I, personally, have been very impressed with the work that Give Us Time does, so I was more than happy to offer accommodation to the service families so they were able to enjoy a week in Bulgaria during the ski season. It was an exceptional event, which all attendees thoroughly enjoyed.”
If you’d like to donate accommodation or a holiday package to support military families, please register with Give Us Time at www.giveustime.org.uk or call us on 0207 470 8877.