Making a Difference Since 1898

- Who We Are -

Our History

We have a long and proud history at Leicester Children’s Holidays. We are one of the oldest charities in Leicestershire and our creation is thanks to some truly progressive Leicestershire people of the time.

We can trace back the first mentions of a seaside holiday for children living in poverty all the way back in 1895, when Samuel Ellicock the HMI for Technical Education proposed the idea to a committee. It was however dismissed as impractical.

Between 1896 and 1898 Lady Rolleston (our founder) and her husband Sir John Rolleston (MP for Leicester & Freemason) opened a club for boys, where they were able to read and participate in enriching activities. 

In June 1898 Lady Rolleston presented the opportunity to begin taking the boys who attended the club away for a week’s holiday, and approval was granted.  From that August, holidays to Mablethorpe began. The early years involved camping on the sand dunes and were for boys only. In 1900 girls were able to join.




The Mablethorpe Holiday home was built and ready for use in 1937 and children across the county attended holidays from 1951.

Every summer hundreds of children would set off from the city centre, waving goodbye to their family to travel to the coast and enjoy a week in Mablethorpe.

The holidays have such good memories for thousands of people across Leicestershire and Rutland, and many tell us it was the only holiday they had as a child, their days would be filled with beach adventures, blackberry picking, baking, creating performances and making new friends. 

In 2017 the decision to sell Mablethorpe was made, due to complicated lease arrangements and the repair works required for the building. A new vision of how Leicester Children’s Holidays can help children was therefore created and continues today.

Have you or a family member enjoyed one of our holidays, if so we would love to hear from you, sign up to become part of our alumni here: 

How To Get Involved ..

You can make a positive social change by supporting a local charity and there are many ways you can help us..

how to get involved