It was another action packed summer for charities and support groups across the UK. We assisted with funding for some unforgettable days out for over 300 children and young people with disabilities and have been extremely pleased to see many new groups taking advantage of our day trip grants.
There is never a typical type of trip or activity that we support. It could be an adventurous day out or an in-house fun day. If it’s exciting, challenging, educational or creative – or better still, all of those things – then we’re interested! This summer we provided grants towards trips to wildlife parks, farms, beaches, restaurants, theme parks, canals and a fun day at the Ade Adepitan Short Breaks Centre. A total of 18 trips took place between the months of June, July and August so we thought we’d give you a round up of some of our favourites – we’re sure you’ll enjoy reading about them as much as we did!
After the success of their day trip last year, Birmingham based voluntary organisation Balsall Heath CATS chose to repeat their trip to Bournemouth Beach again this summer. The group said they appreciated the accessible facilities offered by the beach and that the previous trip had been “the best day out for everyone involved.” This year they were able to take 40 children and young people with a range of disabilities including autism, cerebral palsy, and Down’s syndrome. A volunteer who attended the trip said, “I really noticed on this Bournemouth trip that for so many, it was their only trip out all summer. Your work is so important.”
41 children took part in interactive activities at the farm in August. The North London group rated the activities, opportunities to engage, and the overall experience as “excellent.” One child said, “we had fun at the farm and I want to come back every day!”
“Without the grant the trip would not have been possible. Because of the grant, our children got out of the city, made some new friends, developed their communication and social skills, got some exercise and made hundreds of happy memories. Thank you!”
Cassie Daniels – Development Manager
The Down’s syndrome support group said everyone involved thoroughly enjoyed seeing different animals at the park and engaging in educational wildlife talks. One of the highlights of the day was bringing the families of 15 young people together. A parent shared that “these days are genuinely valuable. It allows us to be ourselves in a group with all the special fun our child brings us.”
The Welsh support group took 20 young people with various disabilities to Chessington using their first ever Daytrippers grant. They reported that “everyone had an amazing day and made lots of memories. We are very grateful for the support of Daytrippers as days out are always expensive and any help is gratefully received!”
The school group had a great day at Bournemouth Beach and Daytrippers covered the cost of their lunch. Teachers used the opportunity to encourage students to try new foods and adapt in new social environments.
“Dear Daytrippers, Thank you for our trip to Days Restaurant. I tried Chinese stir fry for the first time. It was yummy and fantastic there. I will come back one day with my mum.”
Student from Exeter House School
Other great day trips this summers
The Log Cabin, a charity from Ealing, report that several of their children had never been to the countryside or seen farm animals in real life, so their trip to Odds Farm Park was an extra special treat. A support worker said that “the beauty of the trip was that the children could get close up to the animals and really get involved.”
Women of Wandsworth have attended several of our previous events. This year they put their first day trip grant towards a coach to Swanage. Their founder shared “Thank you Daytrippers for the grant. This helped us help our families to have a better holiday and a good rest with their children and friends.”
Brent Play Association, a group who have previously attended our Halloween bowling parties, put their first day trip grant towards a trip to Aldenham Country Park. For many of the children, it was their first experience of being up close to and feeding farm animals. They also enjoyed the adventure playground and sensory room.
And last but not least, the charity Carers Forward took 18 children to explore Twycross Zoo in Leicestershire. The group said our grant helped enable the families they work with to get out and about in a friendly environment this summer.
A 2014 study by Contact A Family found that a shocking 84%* of families with disabled children in the UK stated that they go without days out or leisure time. We believe this is unacceptable, which is why we continue to work closely with charities, special schools, support groups and children’s hospices to make sure their ideas for great days out are achieved. If you’re part of one of these groups and would like to apply for a grant towards your own day trip, please visit our guide to applying here.
*Cohort of 3,500 families