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Big-hearted Brits believe key workers deserve a free holiday, survey finds

  • Research reveals Brits’  new-found appreciation for key workers 
  • Six in ten believe key workers should have a free or discounted holiday 
  • New non-profit calls for donations to give key workers a well-deserved break

Eight out of ten (82%) Brits say they appreciate the country’s key workers more now than before the pandemic, according to new research.

In a OnePoll survey of 1,000* people, 83% of respondents said they believe that key workers deserve more recognition for their work.

The study was commissioned by Give Them A Break, a new non-profit set up to give key workers access to free and discounted holidays as a thank you for keeping the country running during the Covid-19 crisis.  

When asked what further reward respondents felt key workers should receive, almost six in ten (57%) said a free or discounted holiday, and the same number believed they should have an extra day’s annual leave each year. 

Just under a third (32%) agreed that a National Key Worker Recognition Day should be established. 

The findings also showed that young people were most likely to value key workers more since lockdown. Some 86% of 18 to 24 year olds – the highest proportion of any age group – said their appreciation for key workers had increased. 

A total of 89% of Londoners said their appreciation of key workers had grown – the largest percentage of any UK region. 

Numbers were similar in Scotland. Some 79% of Scots said their appreciation for key workers had increased during the pandemic, with 81% saying they deserved more recognition. Nearly half of Scots (49%) believed key workers deserved a free holiday, while 68% felt they should have an increase in salary. 

As UK travel begins to open up, Give Them A Break is calling on the public to donate to its charity fund to help low income key workers have a well-deserved holiday. 

Give Them A Break founder Rachel McCaffery said: “From working long hours in uncomfortable PPE, to isolating from their own families, key workers are the heroes who have kept the country running during lockdown and beyond. These results show that Brits have recognised the incredible contribution of essential workers during this pandemic and want them to be recognised and rewarded.

“Holidays, especially family holidays, play such an important role in recuperation and recovery. Who deserves a holiday more than those heroes who kept our country running? If we all chip in just a small donation, we can give them the break they’ve earned.”

Later this month, Give Them A Break will also be launching a deals directory for all UK key workers featuring exclusive discounts from leading travel brands.

*The survey of 1,000 UK adults was conducted from 6 to 7 July 2020 by OnePoll 

Further Information

Chloe Berman E: media@givethemabreak.org T: 07769256173 

Images are available to download here and further data points are available on request.

Editor’s notes 

Give Them A Break is a not-for-profit campaign founded by Rachel McCaffery, Director of GreenCase Ltd, with the voluntary assistance of a number of travel industry professionals and supporters. All donations go directly to Give Them A Break’s (GTAB) charity partner, the Family Holiday Association, (registered charity number 800262). The Family Holiday Association is the leading national charity dedicated to providing breaks and day trips for families struggling with some of the toughest challenges life can bring. The charity was founded 45 years ago on the belief that holidays are a lifeline not a luxury. In 2019, the charity helped 4,821 families access a break – 10,641 children and 7,836 adults. Evidence shows that the charity’s work results in stronger, healthier and happier families and communities.Give Them A Break’s deals directory will launch at the end of July with offers from leading brands. These include: TUI, Travel Republic, Travebag, A&O Hostels, Abercrombie & Kent, Alpharooms; AMAWaterways, Britain Unites, Dragoman, Elegant Resorts, Elite Island Resorts, gap360, Hyatt; Inspiring Travel Company, Intrepid Travel, Intro Travel, Millennium & Copthorne Hotels, Nemo Travel, Rainbow Tours, Rhino Car Hire, Rough Guides, Sanctuary Retreats, Teletext Holidays, The Discerning Collection, Transindus and Travel Department.

8 UK alternatives to overseas holidays

While lockdown restrictions are slowly easing in Britain, overseas travel is still shrouded in uncertainty. If you’re not ready to make a trip abroad then fortunately, you can still experience a taste international travel without the need of a passport. We’ve compiled a list of stunning UK destinations that will make you feel as though you’re abroad.

1. Shetland Islands

Image by @ohnygoerend via Unsplash

If you’d decided to start the new decade with a bucket-list trip to Norway to see the Northern Lights, all is not lost. You can still cross it off with a visit to the Shetland Islands, which lies closer to the North Pole than any other part of the British Isles. Visibility is best in the autumn and winter when the dark nights set the perfect stage for a spectacular display of lights. As a bonus, Shetland’s Scandinavian heritage can still be felt in it’s village names and red timber buildings that feel reminiscent of a Norwegian coastal town.

To check when the islands are receiving visitors again, please visit the official Shetland website.

2. Little Venice, London

While strolling along the picturesque canals of Amsterdam may be off the cards for now, London’s Little Venice offers equally as scenic views. This tranquil district is an oasis in the busy capital, with leafy streets and colourful houseboats lining the waterways. You could easily spend a day exploring the area by water bus or admiring the views from a local cafe.

For the latest information on Little Venice, please visit this website.

3. Mayfield Lavender Farm, Surrey

Image by @dorne_marting via Unsplash

The calming aromas of this 25-acre lavender farm will elicit feelings of ambling the rolling hills of Provence, France. Located in Banstead, Surrey, Mayfield Lavender Farm is the perfect place to spend a summer’s day. Roam the fields on foot or opt for a tractor ride around the farm before enjoying lunch at the on-site cafe.

Visit the Mayfield Lavender Farm website for the latest information, including opening hours and dates.

4. Elegug stacks, Pembrokeshire

Image by @iancylkowskiphotography via Unsplash

The Elegug stacks in Pembrokeshire have been likened to Nusa Penida in Indonesia. While a weekend in Wales may not be comparable to holidaying on a tropical island, the natural geology is just as impressive. Visit the site to see the rocks rising dramatically from the water and marvel at the Green Bridge of Wales, a great rock arch that juts out from the cliff edge. When looking for places to stay, consider the harbour side town of Tenby which is just a half an hour drive along the coast and boasts a beautiful collection of beaches.

Please check the route to the stacks is open before visiting. More details can be found on the Visit Pembrokeshire website.

5. Cheddar Gorge, Somerset

Image by @tents_and_tread via Unsplash

New Zealand may be known for it’s stunning scenery but you don’t need to travel to the other side of the world for breathtaking views. Instead, make the trip to Cheddar Gorge in Somerset to admire Britain’s highest, inland limestone cliffs. Climb the 274 steps that comprise Jacob’s Ladder for a cliff top walk and panoramic views of the area, or explore the caves below.

Please visit the Cheddar Gorge website to check when they will be welcoming visitors again.

6. Bath

Image by @zacfarmerart via Unsplash

If you had plans to experience the famed thermal baths of Budapest this year, consider a trip to Bath for a similar experience closer to home. The city’s Roman baths are one of the best preserved remains of the ancient world. Built around 70AD, the world-renowned historical site now houses an interactive museum and welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. Spend a weekend immersing yourself in the history of the city and taking advantage of the many pubs, restaurants, and other attractions it has to offer.

To find the latest news on opening times and other important information, visit the Roman Baths website.

7. St Ives, Cornwall

Image by @apham via Unsplash

The idyllic setting of St Ives could easily be mistaken for a mediterranean coastal location such as Dubrovnik. While it boasts stunning beaches to rival any European getaway, it’s St Ives’ vibrant art scene that really sets this town apart. The Cornish destination is home to Tate St Ives among other galleries. If art isn’t your scene, then the area’s thriving surf culture or a boat trip to spot seals on Seal Island may spark your interest.

For more information, including the latest news on St Ives, please visit their website.

8. Sgwd Yr Eira Waterfall, Brecon Beacons

The magical Sgwd Yr Eira may resemble waterfalls found in Thailand but it’s actually located in Brecon Beacons. The ‘falls of snow’ are a mystical sight set in the heart of the national park. Sgwd Yr Eir is easily accessible on foot and you can even take a walk behind the thundering cascade.

To check when the park is receiving visitors again, please visit the Brecon Beacons website.

We’re raising money to treat key workers to holidays and days out. Show your support by donating here. If you’re a key worker planning your next break, browse our holidays for key workers page for exclusive deals.