It is always increasingly difficult to get a break, a holiday or any respite if you are a parent or carer of a child with learning disabilities. Some parents dream of a few days away but often, it is just a dream, well for 40 South Wales carers and their children this dream came true!
This week saw local Charity ‘Follow Your Dreams’ and Bluestone National Park Resort in Pembrokeshire work in partnership to give eight families from South Wales a week’s break to remember at the Bluestone resort.
The families have come from Barry and Ogmore Valley, South Wales, with children between 4-9 years attending Jenner Park Primary, and Ogmore Vale Primary schools. Teachers we’re amazed when Follow Your Dreams got in touch to let them know of the opportunity and worked closely with the charity to help coordinate families for the trip.
Bluestone has been looking at ways to work with the charity – which helps youngsters with learning disabilities to achieve their ‘dreams’ and build upon their potential. The idea of the holiday came about to provide a fun packed week for the kids, while mums, dads and carers receive a well-deserved rest.
“We were pleased to be able to provide much needed respite for the families with our unique ‘Free Range’ fun here at Bluestone,” said Liz Weedon of Bluestone.
“Our range of activities and facilities makes it a great place for the families to get together, have fun and relax – a perfect break.”
All the activities planned for the youngsters were exciting and created to stimulate social integration and team building, a skill that can often be lacking in youngsters with learning disabilities, while also building on their self-esteem and encouraging them to overcome difficulties, this included a giant outdoor laser tag that involved all 40 guests, followed by some “Welly Wanging”, rock climbing and a mud mystery tour for the Bluestone Dragon’s Golden Egg!
Mike Williams of Follow Your Dreams said “The staff at Bluestone have been fantastic, taking great care of the additional needs each family have required, on top of that they have made this a very special week for some very special youngster”
With all these exhilarating activities arranged for the youngsters, it also meant that the week would give parents and carers of the children the opportunity to take time out together, another parent commented “Often taking a child with learning disabilities on holiday can be more stressful than staying at home because of the unfamiliar surroundings, but knowing that your children will be looked after by a fantastic team of staff here at Bluestone, and with the involvement of a charity that actually understands is so reassuring, at last I get a break for the first time in 10 years.”