College students go camping!
At Treloar’s, we look after almost 170 children and young people with complex physical disabilities. We’re proud to offer every student who wants to, no matter their disability, the opportunity to participate in life-enhancing extra-curricular activities, boosting their confidence, self-esteem, physical and mental wellbeing.
Residential trips towards the end of the academic year are always a highlight in the students’ calendars and for the older College students who are in their final year, they provide an opportunity to create special memories with their friends before they graduate. However, these trips would not be possible if it were not for our supporters and we’re extremely grateful to all the donors who generously funded a residential camping trip for our College students in May.
For many of our students, going on a traditional camping trip is not always an option. Facilities can often be inadequate when students require hoists and changing benches for their personal care. Many students require special diets which can further complicate outdoor trips since additional areas often are needed for feeding (some students require gastrostomy feeding).
Treloar’s has established a relationship with a wonderful camping facility specifically designed for disabled people called The Woodlarks Centre in Farnham. This year, 14 College students with their carers went to Woodlarks to spend four nights camping under the stars!
Woodlarks Centre enables anyone, regardless of their disability, to experience the joys of camping. With 12 acres of field and woodland, a heated outdoor swimming pool, plus good accessible support buildings, it’s the perfect location for our students to spend time outdoors.
Camping for Treloar’s Leavers
The camping trip was a unique opportunity to spend time in an outdoor setting, make new friends, have fun, try new activities and use their independence skills. For those students concerned about their ‘next steps’, the trip consolidated friendships, providing reassurance around the future.
The trip to Woodlarks helped build confidence and relieve anxieties around unfamiliar places; for many of our students this was their biggest challenge. It was an incredible experience for them.
Charlotte Jackson, Class Teacher
Staying overnight in an unknown location can be daunting for those students who are familiar with a particular set-up either at home or in our residential houses.
The overnight trip allowed me to not just rely on my family to support me. It was my biggest challenge staying overnight as I normally need lots of time to get used to somewhere new.
During their time at Woodlarks, our students enjoyed a range of activities from swimming outdoors, building a camp fire, exploring the woodland, toasting marshmallows and games nights. Working together as a team, they also took the lead on catering, planning all the meals (plus snacks!), taking dietary requirements into consideration.
I had to communicate with new people, I was worried but proud of how I managed.
Building independence skills and making lasting memories
The ability to cope with changing situations is extremely important for our students as it builds resilience and flexibility, which is vital for life beyond Treloar’s. Furthermore, these experiences give our students memories to treasure and our thanks again to all our donors who made this trip possible.
How you can support us
We’re extremely grateful to all our donors who help us to provide such a stimulating and caring environment for our students. If you would like to support us, there are many ways you can do this. You too could contribute towards a camping trip or an extra-curricular activity for our students, you could leave a legacy, take part in a fundraising Challenge Event, or play our TRELOTTERY – the list is endless! To keep in touch with us and hear about our latest events and activities, simply sign up here. Or you can read our newsletter Treloar’s Today or call our friendly Fundraising Team on 01420 547477 for more information on how you can help.