Sefton Childrens Trust
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experiencing difficulties
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Sefton Children’s Trust Annual Residential Experience

At Manor Adventure

13th - 20th August 2016

Charles Dickens was quoted as saying “Do all the good you can, and make as little fuss about it as possible”.  Below is our opportunity to inform you in ‘as little fuss as possible’ about the work of our charity and more importantly the fantastic experience it has provided this summer, for two coach loads of vulnerable and worthy children, aged 8 – 11 living in the Borough of Sefton.  The residential offers a week of respite* for the children and their families from the difficulties of their everyday lives. We begin this year’s report by thanking each and every one of our supporters and volunteers; it is due to your kindness that the Sefton Children’s Trust 2016 residential was able to take place.

*respite - A short period of rest or relief from something difficult (

On Saturday 13th August 2016 at Bootle Town Hall, 108 very excitable children (and leaders), boarded 2 coaches bound for the Manor Adventure Centre in Shropshire.  This 2 hour coach journey really is a magical time, a time for our volunteers to begin building positive relationships with the children, alleviate any fears or concerns and answer any of their numerous questions, such as, what will we do when we get there, will we be able to watch TV/computers/phone/, where will we be sleeping, can I wear my own clothes, what activities do we do, who’s in my group, are we in Wales and of course are we nearly there yet? The journey flies by as children tuck into their packed lunches supplied by the charity and settle in to watch a DVD on the coach, their final time watching TV for a week!

Once we arrive at the centre, the children are given a tour of the site and introduced to their group leaders from Sefton Children’s Trust.  Each group of up to 10 children have two group leaders who will be with them all week, the role is extremely important as it is their role to organise, coach, mentor, manage behaviour, be a role model and ensure that all their group’s needs are met and that everybody is having as much fun as possible.  Children are then given their uniforms for the day (each group will be identifiable by their chosen clothes for that day) and by their ‘team’ baseball caps that also serve to keep the sun of their heads.  We have a lot of emphasis on ‘team’, helping each other out, encouragement and shared tasks, we feel that this helps the children develop skills that they can then implement back at home, in school and within their communities

The children are straight into their first activity after a short break, ‘The Manor Olympics’, not quite as grand as Rio but equally as competitive to each team!  Whilst the children are taking part in the activity under the supervision of the instructors, it provides the first opportunity for all of our volunteers to meet everybody else.  Our volunteers come from literally across the UK, the North of Scotland to Central London and of course locally in Merseyside.

The first night is always a lively and a loud one, as many of these children have never had the opportunity to stay away or go on holiday, let alone without their parents.  This year we are happy to report that everybody was fast asleep by 10pm, ready for the next morning’s 7.30am wake up!

The children’s days are structured as follows, wake up from 7am, breakfast from 8am, then 1 x 90 minute activity, morning break, another activity, lunch followed by 2 more 90 minute activities (with a break in between), evening meal followed by the final activity session, with lights out aimed to be for approximately 9pm.  This works out at an average of 7.5 hours of physically challenging and mentally stimulating activity each day!  

This year the activities that the children participated in were:

Tuesday is our visitors’ day, an opportunity for any of our funders and supporters to visit, meet the children and see/experience the powerful impact of the charity.  A new opportunity this year was very kindly provided to us by a local Tesco store.  They set up a healthy eating fruit kebab stall on the main field for the children to enjoy after a hard afternoon of activities.  All of the lovely fruit was donated by Tesco and for many of the children it was the first time that they had tried and enjoyed fruits such as melon, kiwi and fresh pineapple, needless to say every single item was eaten!

After the excitement of visitor day, the children then looked forward to the Wednesday night disco, a chance for the boys and girls to get dressed up, to practise their group performances prior to the talent show on the final night and have lots and lots of fun.  Suddenly we are more than half way through the week!

As well as the usual days full of challenging physical activity, it is our amazingly talented dance/drama volunteer, Amy’s role to build the children’s confidence and trust and encourage each of the groups to learn and perform a dance in front of their peers, our volunteers and the staff of Manor Adventure at the end of camp show, she also has to do the same for our staff dance!  Well, this year’s show was quite simply inspiring, with all children in all of the groups taking part.  This is a huge achievement for those children and one that many of them would not have attempted on day 1 of their holiday; helping to prove that with the correct support, structure, positive reinforcement and challenging activities the children of Sefton can perform beyond their wildest imaginations.  The final night is then rounded off with ice lollies, a disco and firework display and numerous renditions our camp song – ‘The World’s Greatest’!

On the final day, children are given back their own clothes to wear and each group spends some time with their group leaders.  This is an opportunity for them to say their goodbyes and be presented with their achievement certificates, which are all personally written with positive comments and observations from the week.  They then pack up their sleeping bags, wash bags and teddy bears, ready for the final rendition of the camp song, hoping that they leave with the words of the song ringing in their ears.

High ropes course

Obstacle course


Rock climbing

Confidence course

Zip wire


Film making

Crate Stack

Underground maze



Arts and crafts


Kayak & Canoe

Raft building