As a parent, there’s a few words that can send you into a spin…
“I’m bored”
“Can I have….”
“6 weeks summer holidays”

A new survey reveals that 40% of parents and carers feel stress, anxiety or dread when thinking about the summer holidays (

Not only is it expensive, with parents spending an estimated £400 per child during the 6 weeks holiday (, it is a minefield of keeping your children entertained, juggling work, spending time with your children, allowing children to go and see their friends/having more freedom (depending on age group), not having too much screen time and stopping them from eating all the food in the house.

It has been discovered that over a half of mum’s say their stress levels increase dramatically over the school holidays, particularly the summer, according to a survey (workingmums), of course fathers are feeling that strain too as well as single-parent families. For many families the cost of childcare, which is around £138 p/w per child is not attainable and it means that parents are splitting their time off and not able to spend it with one another as a family, as there needs to be one parent there to take care of the child.

What is all this stress doing to our mental health?

With the Summer Holidays drawing to a close, most parents will be at that point where they are looking forward to the start of the new term and welcoming getting back into the routine of ‘normal’ life. However for many of us, the summer holidays could have a lasting impact, not just on our bank balance but also on our mental health.  It is a well-known fact that mental health is a hot-topic right now with more and more people reporting mental health issues on a day to day basis, more people seeking professional help for mental health issues and more people taking time off work due to mental health issues, with an average of 23.8 days lost per case last year 2018 (

20% revealed that they felt less focused at work as a result of the stress caused by arranging childcare and managing the summer holidays. Some 19% felt that the stress of the school holidays had a negative effect on their relationship with their boss (workingmum). 

All of this can have a lasting effect on your wellbeing and your children’s, we also know that not everyone has the ability to spend large amounts of money on their children during summer holidays, it all depends on what you earn and what you have left over after all the day – to – day bills are paid. This kind of stress can affect everything going on in your life, from your own well-being to your health to your relationships, juggling the finances and time off with your partner (if you have one), can add extra pressure to an already stressful situation.

How Your Cash Plan (ShirePerks) Can Benefit You This Summer

The above doesn’t make for light reading and may even be bringing up worry and anxiety, however we, at Shire Insurance have a fantastic solution that you may already have access to and are not sure about the benefits it offers. ShirePerks (or Vetperks)  Employee benefits offers you more than reimbursements for your dental and optical, which we will be covering in more detail in one of our up and coming  blogs, detailing the shopping discounts, days out, supermarket discounts and holiday discounts you have access to right now.

One of the other benefits we offer is access to the 24/7 Counselling & Support helpline, ensuring the availability of service when you need it most, giving you support and advice on a range of issues, including but not limited to –

  • Anxiety
  • Debt
  • Medical matters
  • Legal advice
  • Gambling
  • Emotional problems
  • Stress
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Bereavement
  • Family difficulties

Imagine, being able to, in the private of your own home, call into a professional councilor and receive expert advice and help on any issue you are facing at the moment. Knowing you have that at a time where there’s extra pressure with work, finances, children being off school, buying school uniform, organising time off and possibly having issues with family pressures is invaluable. It’s there for free (or at a very minimal cost if you pay for a family level or a higher than base level), being able to access something like this on the NHS could take weeks, if not months, and it’s there for you within your employee benefits package, so be sure to use it this Summer or at any other time you may be feeling stress and anxiety.

If you are not a member of our Cash Plan Employee Benefits package or would like to offer this unique plan to your employees, or you have some questions about your current plan and how you can access them then please get in touch with us at