Sefton Childrens Trust
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Sefton Children’s Trust Annual Residential Experience

July 23rd - 30th 2011

In the current economic climate, it was not easy to secure the necessary funding for this year’s Residential Break, but, thanks mainly to you, who support us year after year, the money was raised and the Holiday happened.

The group descended on Manor Adventure, Craven Arms, Shropshire, by various routes, the main party travelling by coach from Merseyside. Our valiant band of leaders in the Advance Party had arrived the evening before, and worked tirelessly to see that all was ready for us. There was a toiletries bag for every child. Their delight on receiving this had to be seen to be believed! All our kit had been sorted and laid out in readiness, with undies, shorts, tops, caps and pumps ready for all our young people.

Again we were lucky to recruit some excellent new volunteers to our team …. essential now that some of us are reaching our sell-by date, and others have increasing family commitments. All soon settled in and were able to make a fantastic contribution to our ‘operation’. The young people were sorted into groups, allocated dormitories, given a Fire Drill and tour of the site, and the fun began! The first morning began at the traditional early hour (after the traditional late hour the night before!) as the young people were very excited. The setting is as beautiful as ever, with the hills, the woods, the surrounding tranquility. Although many of the children were far more interested in the activities, they were visibly as much in awe as the adults.

We had our usual Open Day on the Wednesday, when we were joined by the Mayor of Sefton, and his Consort, both of whom said they thoroughly enjoyed their visit. The young people enjoyed meeting them, and their chauffeuse.

All our usual elements were included: as well as the very physical Confidence Course, High Ropes, Climbing, abseiling, etc., the young people learnt Survival Skills, Archery, BMX Biking, together with the water activities: Kayaking and Raft Building. We were able to take materials (and expertise) for Art and Craft sessions, which proved popular, and provided simple artifacts for the young people to take home as souvenirs. There was a new activity, The Crow’s Nest, which required teamwork, co-operation and problem-solving. Each group, and a group of leaders, had Dance and Drama sessions, where they prepared a ‘turn’ to be performed at the Talent Show on the last evening. This was, as always a highlight, when every single young person took to the stage, and had their turn in the spotlight.

All these activities were for the children’s enjoyment and education, but they also give us a medium to develop their social skills. Through learning, play and team building they are encouraged to set achievable goals for themselves, which, in turn, enhances their self-esteem. Working with others, they learn to respect each other, and their environment.

The weather was kind to us again this year, which helps to keep laundry costs down, as well as being more pleasant.

On the final morning, the whole operation was wound up and packed up with admirable efficiency, and we were ready for departure. The journey home was uneventful, and all parents were waiting eagerly to welcome back their offspring.