Last week a survey revealed that many British employees do not take all their annual leave. Reasons given for this vary but the results must give cause for concern. Holidays are essential ‘stress-busters’ and an important weapon in preventing and combating mental health problems.

On the same day press reported this news item, an important new network was launched at the World Travel Market event in London’s ExCel Centre.

The Holidays Matter network (administered by the Family Holiday Association)

“will, for the first time, provide a framework for organisations who believe that every single person in this country should have the opportunity for a break away from home.

Today in Britain, seven million people cannot find the money for an annual holiday and still more miss out because the challenges of daily life are too great.

Holidays Matter launches with the following aims:

    ·to help more people benefit from breaks

    ·to build a network of businesses, voluntary sector groups, and tourism bodies with an interest in increasing provision of holidays and breaks for those who can’t currently enjoy any sort of break

    ·to influence policy at both local and national level to recognise the importance of holidays and breaks

    ·to learn from the best models in mainland Europe and implement this learning in the UK

    ·to bring together organisations under the Holidays Matter banner to present a coherent message using consistent terminology.”

The Holidays Matter’s website http://www.holidaysmatter.org.uk/ and Twitter feed @Holidays_Matter were both launched last Friday. Take a stroll over to the website and to Twitter (during your lunch break perhaps...) and find out how others may be much worse off than you.

Find out why Holiday Matters wants to make the words “I’ve never been on holiday” a phrase that belongs to history.