During the week our disabled campers have the majority of their personal care needs met by their ‘buddied’ peer helpers. All our participants receive basic training regarding manual handling and personal care, as well as a detailed lesson on any assistive equipment they might need to use. At all times our staff are on hand to ensure that everyone feels happy about the care they are giving and being given.
The campsite facilities include a wash block with several different adaptive bathrooms – these include different styles of toilets, grab rails, ceiling hoists, adjustable sinks, shower beds, and even a bath. There are also poolside facilities at the swimming pool that include fully-accessible changing rooms and three high-dependency wash rooms. We have some tents that have wooden floors so that mobile hoists can be used inside, as well as tents with electric power sockets for any overnight feeds. There is a large charging station where power wheelchairs can recharge overnight.
Different participants may have different needs, and the most important thing for everyone to remember is to ask questions! Personal care between peers can be a learning curve for both helpers and campers, but everyone soon gets to know each other’s needs and how they like things done. Personal care may include: helping someone transfer from wheelchair to bed or toilet, fetching and feeding meals, washing and dressing, and help using the toilet. Of course, different people need different levels of help and everyone is encouraged to be as independent as they can – so sometimes enabling someone may not mean doing it for them!
Everyone is grouped together into small groups called patrols, and you will sleep with your patrol in a shared tent. If you need any help during the night, two staff members are always on call to assist.
As we return to camp again following the Covid-19 pandemic, we are conscious of keeping all our participants safe. We have updated our risk assessments and procedures to reflect this. This includes, but is not limited to, forming a “bubble” at camp and not having an off site outing, being vigilant about cleaning and personal care hygiene procedures, providing PPE where appropriate, and including plans for the unlikely event that someone should test positive for Covid-19 while on camp.