Support for Learning Disabilities and Autism
Center Parcs 2013
Service Users' Holiday to Lanzarote 2013
The Gran Canaria Holiday 2012
Service users had a fantastic time in Paris 2011
In last few weeks leading upto 1st July, the clients and carers at Sunrise were looking forward to their return to Center Parcs for another 5 days of enjoyment, fresh air and optimistic sunshine. The long journey to Elveden Forest began in the afternoon. This was after the early morning preparations were finalised, as well as the travel bags for Newton, Sameena, Karishma and Nabil were packed we started the 2 hour journey northwards.
On arrival to Center Parcs we realised how different the environment was compared to the grey concrete urban scenery we had grown accustomed to in London. Instead of towering buildings we were greeted by evergreen trees and nature displaying its wide variety of beauty.
they visited Palmitos Park to see a variety of animals and a fabulous Dolphin show.
the holiday finale was the Country and Western show at Sioux City which was thoroughly enjoyed by all.
The service users enjoyed their time together and playfully echoed Tony's catchphrase “we've got to TALK!”.
It was a pleasure supporting them to experience their time in Gran Canaria and create wonderful memories.
Daniel said, “I really enjoyed the holiday, swimming in the pool and loved the Country and Western night because of the music and the show. Gran Canaria is a nice country and has very pretty ladies....I can't wait to go back again.”
Nicolaos commented, “I liked going to Sioux City because they had a good show on and all the gunshots and fights made me get excited to watch it further. Going on the sight-seeing trip into the mountains was interesting because I have never done this before. I also loved the food and spending time with my house mates.”
We stayed at the Chateau Frontenac which was not too far from The Avenue des Champs-Élysées with the Arc de Triomphe in close view. We of course did the tourist thing and visited the impressive Eiffel Tower (the views from the Eiffel Tower were breathtaking), closely followed by the Notre Dame and the Arc de Triomphe.
We also visited the War Museum (Musée de l'Armée) and saw some fantastic art museums (Musée d'Art) along the way.
We went on a boat cruise from the Port de la Bourdonnais near to the Eiffel Tower, which was a fantastic summary of all the beautiful iconic buildings that we visited over the last two days, capturing them all together as we travelled down the river Seine.
We enjoyed good weather, with four days of continuous laughter and continuous eating!! Upwords of course had to be played with Alma being victorious as always (you think she would let Julie win at least once)!!
The morning of our return, we decided to travel back to Garde du Nord by Metro. This was an experience, as we had to pull our suitcases down the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, through the crowds, passing an enormous queue of people waiting to enter the famous Abercrombrie & Fitch an american casual luxury brand of clothing (for those of you who didn't know), the first flagship store in Paris.
We coped with the challenge of carrying cases up and down the stairs (as there were no lifts in sight) with not much complaint from all....it was a challenge but a rewarding one as we can now travel confidently by metro through Paris.
We finally got onto the Eurostar to come home with some relief after the amount of negotiation needed with the ticket barriers and our suits cases as there were no assistants but with some obvious sadness as we were leaving Paris.
May I take this opportunity to say a big big thank you to Alma for making the travel booking and choosing a fantastic location and to both Jean and Priyanka for all their efforts and their support which made Paris a very memorable and enjoyable trip for all especially for Nicky, Julie, Tony and Daniel.
Each year the Tenants at Marteene House look forward to a week's holiday of their choice and this year they chose to visit Arrecife de Lanzarote.
This holiday was particularly exciting because we had Martin joining us for the first time and staff member Jennifer.
The excitement of the Tenants was infectious leading up to the date of departure; shopping for new clothes, footwear and the essential euros.
We arrived at Luton Airport in good time to enjoy lunch at Frankie & Benny's before boarding the plane. More snacks and drinks were purchased which made the four hour journey even more enjoyable.
We landed at Lanzarote Airport just after 18:30pm and shortly arrived at our accommodation Costa Sal which was only 7km from the airport. The weather was initially disappointing as it was overcast and windy and we looked forward to the good weather which was forecast from Saturday onwards.
We spent time at Playa Matagorda which was 300m approx. from our accommodation; we enjoyed walks down the promenade admiring the ash beach and shopping for gifts. Martin set the trend by purchasing a ring which significantly highlighted his character and jovial personality.
One of the highlights of the holiday was when we hired two pedal carts; one was a three seater and the other was a five seater which we cycled to the local town and did some plane spotting along the way. Jenny, Martin and Daniel was in one and Alma, Julie, Nicolaos and myself in the other. This mode of transport required co-ordination, team work and determination of which Julie and Daniel had a tremendous amount of; overall it was a challenging task cycling up and down hills which was met with a lot of sweat but above all, fun and a lot of laughter.
Nicolaos was the first person to see the aeroplanes from a far and, as we watched the planes approaching with their landing lights on, flying over our heads was absolutely fantastic which help us appreciate Tony's fascination of plane spotting and what it involves. It was a shame that Tony chose to sleep during the day and was not there to enjoy it with us.
We enjoyed spending Sunday morning at Teguise Market where we did some successful bartering and purchased some lovely gifts, and a couple of days shopping trips at Porta de Carmenâ€¦shoes, shoes and more shoes!!
Playing a game of pool by the pool side was another highlight of the holiday. Everyone got involved even other holiday makers played with us. Nicolaos is a good player and was the one to beat. Martin was particularly entertaining whether he won or lost, either way we all knew about it, and required a well-deserved 'pint' afterwards.
The Tenants thoroughly enjoyed their meals and the variety of entertainment organised at our accommodation in particular an Irish jazz singing who sang songs by popular artists such as Frank Sinatra and Michael Bublé .
Our final night was enjoyed by travelling into Central Costa Atlantica where we enjoyed cocktails and dancing until the early hours of the morning. Nicolaos was particularly enthusiastic on the dance floor and showed us his rhythmic moves which were impressed by all.
An enormous thank from Alma and myself to Jennifer for all her efforts before and during the holiday which helped to make the holiday very successful and was greatly appreciated by all the tenants.
Julie remarked, “I have been to Gran Canaria before but this time was much better....the people were friendly and the food was nice. I liked going to the Havana Bar because I made a friend there that I really liked. I swam in the pool and in the sea which is where I got my nice sun tan. I miss Gran Canaria and wish I could go back soon.”
During our stay we cooperated as though we were one family with lunch, dinner and dessert being cooked by alternate carers each day. All the clients engaged in various activities depending on the weather, nevertheless we wanted them to enjoy their holiday experience rain or shine. On days Sameena, Nabil and Karishma went indoor swimming.
Both carers and clients enjoyed the splash of the cool water and speed of the rapids whilst being within the safety of the inflatable aqua ring. When back on dry land we explored our new surroundings in nature walks around Elveden Forest, Nabil and Newton especially enjoyed the change in environment with the frequent singing of birds and inquisitive squirrels within the woodland.
On another day whilst the men were chilling, the women had an arts and crafts session which included face painting, manicure, blowing bubbles and painting. Karishma selected a tiger face painting which matched her character as she roamed around our campsite smiling with excitement. On our last full day came the best day of sunshine which called for a visit to the artificial beach, the feeling of sand in between our toes made us forget that we were still in the United Kingdom.
No holiday experience would be complete without ice creams in the sun. Luckily an ice cream van was within walking distance so we didn’t have to wait long until our stomachs were filled with sugary happiness. In the evening we ate out at an American style eating establishment called Sports Café, they served burgers, chips, milkshakes, ribs and all of the above.
To summarise our visit to Center Parcs was one to remember. We all enjoyed the food, the atmosphere and unpredictable British sunshine. For the clients and carers it was a well-deserved rest for a few days in paradise.
The service users at Marteene House all had a fabulous time in Gran Canaria.
an all day sightseeing trip up into the mountains where they saw how the true native Canaries lived within the mountain caves.
They enjoyed three special events of their choice: