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New holiday scheme is giving disabled children's families a helping hand
FAMILIES with disabled children are getting a helping hand with a new holiday scheme.
A holiday and short-break service has been launched in Weymouth thanks to a partnership between care providers Regard Group and the Wyvern Academy in Dorchester Road which caters for children with complex learning difficulties.
The service provides an opportunity for up to three disabled children at a time to enjoy short breaks or activity-based longer holidays at a flat created in the school with the supervision and care they need.
Regard Group chief executive officer Sandie Foxall-Smith officially opened the service, saying that it will enable families and carers to also take a well-earned break.
She said: “This is the first Regard For Children service in the country. It is a model that we would like to see adopted elsewhere if we can find the level of support and the positive approach that we have had from Wyvern Academy and the Aspect Trust of which it is a part.”
Daun Tattersall, regional director for Regard said: “This facility has been specifically aimed at providing support to children and young people with learning and physical disabilities from throughout Dorset.
“It is the first of its kind in Dorset and has only been made possible by a partnership with Wyvern Academy.
“They have pupils ranging in age from two to 19 and we have been working with them and headteacher Sue Hoxey for some time in providing support for older pupils as they move into adulthood.”
The overnight short break service has been registered with Ofsted and is able not only to provide planned overnight stays and regular or planned short breaks but can also be used for emergency overnight stays if a family with a disabled child needs accommodation in a hurry.
The breaks are intended to be fun for the children and to give them an experience in life that will make sense for them.
Depending on the child’s abilities these will include visits to local tourist attractions, swimming, sensory sessions, cinema trips, bowling, kayaking, drama lessons, cooking, rock climbing, sailing, storytelling and hydrotherapy sessions.