On three consecutive Fridays, starting at 2pm this Friday, 17 June, Liverpool John Lennon Airport will be hosting the JackTheLad Foundation, known as #JackTheLad – who aim to reach young holiday makers as they head off to the sun in groups, with their Safer Holidays message.
The charity will have a Pop-Up Beach in the Departure Lounge staffed by young volunteers aiming to spread their positive message about having fun – but being mindful of the risks that can present themselves on holiday.
Groups can win T-shirts with an instant selfie competition and win £500 off their next holiday by making a TikTok while they’re away.
“We’re hugely pro-fun as a charity – we just want everyone to take care of themselves and their mates and be more aware of the risks they can encounter while they’re away,” says Tom Muirhead, one of the Trustees and a spokesperson for the charity.
“Our attitude as a charity can be summed up by our hashtag #LiveLifeDontLoseIt. We just want everyone heading off on lads’ and girls’ holidays to Have Fun. Stay Safe. Come Home and to spread the word about our charity on social media.”
#JackTheLad was formed as a registered charity after the tragic death of Jack Howe in June 2019 in a quad bike accident, on Zante, Greece. Jack was only 19 and on his first ever lads’ holiday.
“Quad bikes are really dangerous – but it’s the irresponsible attitudes and poor safety standards of many of the operators that is as much of a problem as the inexperienced riders” says Stephanie Howe, the charity’s CEO – and Jack’s mum.
“But there are many other risks young people face on holiday too and we just want everyone to take a bit more care, to stop and think, so they come home safely and other families don’t have to go through what we went through – and are still going through.”
Jack’s sisters Hannah and Lucy, in their early 20s, are closely involved in the charity, which aims to be relevant to 16-30s across the UK. #JackTheLad aims to raise awareness of risk amongst young Brits and campaign for better safety standards aboard. The charity is recruiting ambassadors at universities and colleges and has a Safer Holidays hub at their website with safer travel tips.
The charity also gives grants, where repatriation costs after a tragic death of a young person on holiday are not covered by insurance. Tragically, many young Brits lose their lives in preventable accidents every year.
The charity was recently invited to be part of the Foreign & Commonwealth Development Office’s (FCDO’s) Travel Aware partnership, where the Travel Industry collaborates with the Government to make British travellers aware of issues and risks around travel. Travel Aware offers guidance on getting the right travel insurance, which is particularly relevant when young people decide to hire bikes or participate in adventure sports – as well as up to date country-specific advice on security and other issues.
“For such a new charity to be part of Travel Aware is so important to us and we completely share their aims in reducing risk and helping to prevent accidents. We really encourage everyone to check FCDO Travel Advice at their website and sign up to their email alerts. Our aim is to work alongside Travel Aware and with airports and airlines and have #JackTheLad and our Stay Safe On Holiday message at the heart of the travel mindset of every young British traveller”, summarises Tom Muirhead.
“We’re incredibly grateful to Liverpool John Lennon Airport for being our very first commercial travel industry supporter and we know that our presence at the airport, as summer holidays take off in 2022, will make thousands of young Brits aware of us and, we hope, make them think a bit more about staying safe than they otherwise would have done”.
Robin Tudor, Head of PR and Communications at Liverpool John Lennon Airport commented, “We’re delighted to be able to work with the JackTheLad Foundation on this important campaign to highlight to our passengers about having a great time but staying safe too. As many young people will be taking the opportunity to travel overseas, perhaps for the first time in a few years, we see this as a great campaign to remind them about safer holidays.”