Behind the charity…

In the 1950s, when Glasgow Children’s Holiday Scheme began its work thousands of city families went “doon the water” for their holidays. Today, many of us may look forward to a couple of holidays or breaks each year. For many Glasgow families, however, even that traditional trip to the Clyde Coast is still an impossible dream.

Living standards have improved enormously since Lilias Graham established the Holiday Scheme in the Gorbals. Nevertheless, today a third of Glasgow’s children live in poverty. That is 36,000 youngsters, many of whom never experience a holiday, a chance for them and their families to get away from daily challenges, strengthen relationships, and unwind and have fun and adventure. 

Families in this situation are among those that need holidays the most. Parents and carers struggle to make ends meet, have health issues or face problems such as domestic violence, addictions or bereavement as well as the needs of children with disabilities. 

Over the years Glasgow Children’s Holiday Scheme has given thousands of children a “passport” to new horizons and new experiences. Imagine all those happy faces, and imagine, for instance, being the young girl whose first trip out of Glasgow was on a Loganair flight to a host family in Shetland! 

Host families still play an important role but the charity has responded to demand for family breaks by providing static holiday caravans overlooking the Firth of Clyde at Wemyss Bay. Each year around 500 children and young people enjoy holidays, most of them with their families in the caravans and the rest with host families or with their  youth groups. 

The poignant, heartwarming and at times funny stories told within the pages of Making Memories reveal how Glasgow Children’s Holiday Scheme adapted to challenges over the last seven decades.


For many years Gorbals had been the most notorious slum area in Britain…

Full copies of our ‘making memories‘ publication are available upon request