Urdd Gobaith Cymru, Wales’ largest youth organisation, is re-launching its campaign to ensure that some of the most deprived youngsters get the chance to experience a holiday in 2024.

On World Children’s Day (November 20), the Urdd is appealing to individuals, companies, and societies to contribute to its ‘Fund for All – Urdd Summer Camps’.

The fund aims to offer a holiday at the Urdd's centres in Bala, Llangrannog, Pentre Ifan, or Cardiff, to 250 children and young people living in poverty or under difficult circumstances.

It comes as recent statistics show 30% of Welsh children now live in poverty.

Every summer since 2019 the ‘Fund for All’ scheme has sponsored hundreds of youngsters’ holidays at the Urdd’s residential centres.

However, the organisation has decided to increase its target for 2024 after receiving a record number of applications in 2023.

A sponsorship of £180 would contribute towards the cost of a child’s holiday at one of the Urdd’s Residential Centres – either in Glan-llyn near Bala, Llangrannog in Ceredigion, Pentre Ifan in Pembrokeshire, or Cardiff Bay.

The announcement has been welcomed by the parents of those who were able to enjoy a holiday this summer through the Urdd’s Fund for All scheme.

“Without the Fund for All, my daughter definitely wouldn’t have been able to go,” said one parent, Sabrina from Haverfordwest.

“The staff were amazing with her, from helping her settle in to boosting her confidence. She’s happier, has confidence and can’t stop talking about her experience at camp. In her words, she’s had the best experience of her life.”

“The cost-of-living crisis is not only putting a financial strain on families, but also affecting the emotional health and physical activity of children and young people,” said Siân Lewis, Chief Executive of the Urdd.

“This year the Urdd received a record number of applications since establishing our Fund for All scheme, and we are so grateful to everyone who made it possible for us to offer holidays to over 100 children at our camps this summer.

“We have more than doubled our target for 2024 to offer holidays to 250 children and young people who might not otherwise get to enjoy a summer holiday. As a national youth organisation, we are constantly looking for ways to ensure that a family’s financial situation does not mean a child has to missing out on opportunities.”

Parents or schools will be able to apply for a holiday on behalf of a child when applications to the fund open in early 2024.