Sefton Children’s Trust Annual Residential Experience
At Manor Adventure
27th July – 3rd August 2013
The 2 coaches arrived at Manor Adventure, Craven Arms, Shropshire to be warmly welcomed by the Manor staff and a group of our own volunteers, who had travelled the night before to set up camp, including preparing the clothes stores, the bedrooms and most importantly the ‘tuck’. The welcoming committee really contributed to setting the scene for the week and helped the children, (including 20 + first timers), feel at ease and excited for everything that was to come.
After the important “Manor” rules and safety information session, each pair of leaders were allocated their groups for the week and the children were excited to receive their baseball caps, group clothes and team numbers, so the fun began. Due to the rain our Manor Olympics was replaced by indoor games and team bonding for the children which was well received. Then after settling 69 excited children into their beds, the volunteers received their mandatory briefing (important for new starters). First day over, the 2013 Sefton Childrens Trust holiday had begun.
A week of mostly sunshine and few showers lay ahead of us, all children took part in a range of activities from raft building & kayaking on the lake to a 20 foot high ropes course, zip wire and a confidence course built high in the trees. These challenging activities help the children to support each other through teamwork, planning, problem solving, fun and a huge amount of humour. Arts and crafts sessions gave the groups the chance to focus on their more creative side and design souvenirs and keep sakes to take home to families and friends. The fabulous outdoor swimming pool proved again to be one of the most popular activities on camp. Seeing the children enjoying the freedom to ‘just have fun’ in a safe environment, highlights the positive impact on the children and makes it all worthwhile.
We were lucky enough to have a new volunteer dance and drama teacher for this year’s holiday. Her demanding role was to help each of the 9 groups, in sessions throughout the week, to have the confidence to choreograph and perform a dance in front of an audience of well over 100 people, including their peers, the volunteer leaders and “Manor Adventure” Staff. All children took part and performed amazingly, helping to prove that with the correct support, structure, positive reinforcement & challenging activities the children of Sefton can perform beyond their wildest imaginations. A lot of fun was had by all!!
The final evening was rounded off by a disco for the children, a fireworks display and Mother Nature treated us all to a double rainbow, spanning across the rolling landscape of Shropshire. A stunning end to what was a most successful and enjoyable week for us all.
The Sefton Childrens Trust team of volunteers worked passionately and tirelessly throughout 2012 / 2013 to hit our fundraising target. A lot of work goes into the planning and delivering of the Sefton Childrens Trust Holidays , none of which could have been achieved without the help of our kind supporters. The effort was rewarded when on the 27th July 2013, 69 Sefton children and a number of leaders departed from the Delta Taxis Stadium, home of Bootle Football Club, ready to enjoy 7 days of fun filled activities, friendships and memories that will last a life time!
This year, Sefton Childrens Trust introduced new monitoring and evaluation activities to help us gain more meaningful feedback from our children to help us in getting to know each child better, planning for future programmes and to enable us to measure the impact of their experiences with us. As part of this, each child individually completed a short pre camp and end of camp questionnaire, which was designed using smiling faces, colours and questions that help the children to think about themselves and their experiences. This was explained through the support of each group leader as part of a circle activity where children were able to use colourful pens and get support in reading the questions where needed.
Headline Outcomes & Feedback
Six children ranging from age 8-11 also completed a ‘diary room’ activity, providing us with valuable feedback and a real insight into the challenges these children face in their daily lives around their communities and how their time on the camp supports them. Please click here to read the feedback from one of the case studies from these sessions
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