Updated: Jan 17, 2019
You may have seen on the website the new photos we took this summer during our multi-activity weeks for people with learning disabilities. After all the great weather we had during June and July we could almost guarantee the sun wouldn’t stay out the whole time for when the course ran! This meant, as always, some last minute changes to the programme keeping the group (and our instructors) safe. An open canoe picnic trip got turned in a walk and picnic stop. A walk down to Appledore meant jumping in the minibus instead. But all in all the group managed to do most of the activities we had planned.
With Gareth and Owen leading the way in all the activities the others happily followed suit – not that they needed much persuasion. As Minnie proudly told me on many occasions she did things this year she had never done before…..have a go on the zip-line, complete the whole assault course. This summer was a first for her, in that her time spent in the office was out-weighed by the time she spent on activities. It’s been a true privilege to see her and the others develop over the years.
The RIB ride with our instructor Ed always tops the list of the favourite activities they list on their feedback forms. Each year as well as including all the favourite activities, we try and incorporate a couple of new activities for them. This summer it was orienteering on Torrington Common, a location we use with some of our corporate groups staying with us. Doing something unknown in an unfamiliar location can cause apprehension in all of us – however the welcome sight of a Hockings ice-cream van on the Common put an end to any anxieties the group may have had! Next year who knows we may have to include tennis in the activities with Fiona representing Great Britain at the World Special Olympics Games in March 2019.
They were also here for Alex’s last week before starting her new job. Alex had been one of the courses directors for them for a number of years and as a favourite of theirs they were sad to hear (as we all were) that she was leaving us. They had spoken to me about doing something to mark her final day working with us and wanted to do something different to what was programmed. So after much discussion fish & chips after the Appledore Carnival it was!
The groups numbers’ were lower this year, however it did help them create stronger bonds within the group and learn new things about each other they didn’t already know - this was lovely to see. What I think is amazing about this little group is that any “newcomers” that join the group are instantly welcomed with open arms. It was only Gareth’s second time with us and yet it seems like he has never not been here.
We hope to have the dates for next summer’s course finalised by the end of this year so as the phrase goes watch the space https://www.skernlodge.co.uk/learning-disability-holidays All newcomers are more than welcome. If you know of anyone who would benefit in joining us for a week or fortnight then please get in touch.