Archive for April, 2012

Easter Time at Sandilands

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

All the children have enjoyed a great Easter break and we have been scaring ourselves on the high ropes course at ‘Go Ape’, challenging ourselves mountain biking at Bedgebury forest and enjoying the thrills at Thorpe Park.

In the last two months we have completed our ‘international food night’ and have sampled Jamaican and Lebanese cuisines so far. The children have been excellent in helping prepare these and have completed quizzes on each cuisine, with prizes being won by all.

After two years at Sandilands one of our young people has successfully returned to her family in China. In this time the stable, safe and nurturing and therapeutic environment at Sandilands has allowed this young person to excel with her academic achievements and emotional development.

The homes staff and children will miss her greatly but wish her the best for the future.

We have been glad to receive visits from our previous children and to hear how well they have been doing and the positive mentoring they provide to the children on their visits.

Christian Palfrey, Team Manager – Hillcrest Sandilands

Go Ape Challenge!

The Go Ape Challenge!

Southcombe Pirates Ride Again

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Easter 2012 and the Norfolk locals had to lock up their most treasured possessions as the Southcombe Pirates left Steps for a week on the Broads Cruisers!

After a quick lesson for those new to the boats and a refresher for the old sea dogs (Broads veterans from 2009), the convoy snaked its way to Barton Broad for its first mooring and sleep on a boat.

Tuesday afternoon took the pirates to Wroxham (where Roy seems to own the whole town) and off to the barns to show their softer side by bottle feeding some lambs.

Wednesday was a wet and bitterly cold day, providing the perfect opportunity to find those sea legs and for the children to practise their driving skills.

With a maximum speed of 5 knots it was more like the ‘slow and the curious’ than the ‘Fast and the Furious’, although the Robinson brothers clearly thought it was a Red Bull event.

Thursday welcomed a return of the sun and a chance to shake off the cabin fever with a trip into Great Yarmouth. After a quick ride on the donkeys and a tour of seaside shops (clearing out the supplies of sticks of rock), it was down to the serious business of crazy golf.

The 18 hole pirate course was both challenging and fun, but Steve managed to retain his title. There was still time for the thrill seekers to feel the adrenalin at the fun fair finishing with a Steps battle on the dodgems.

Friday morning and the locals could relax again as we moored for the final time with no damaged boats or bones and a treasure chest overflowing with happy memories.

Steve Dumbrill; Team Manager, Hillcrest Steps

Norfolk Boats

Mooring at Wroxham

The Three Amigos

The Three Amigos

Water Rafting Fun

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

On Friday 13th April we took our young people to the Wye Valley canoe centre near Hay on Wye.  After getting kitted up and having our safety briefing we took to the water where we practised out turns. Then off we paddled!

We joined all the boats together (rafting up) and in turn the girls tried standing up and moving from one boat to the next, standing only on the edges (gunnel walking). Some of the girls were nervous at first, however, they soon built up the confidence to do it.

Time to stop for lunch and a chance to teach the girls how to skim stones on the river. They seemed to enjoy this a lot!

For the next excercise we held onto each other’s boats and worked as a team going down the river together.  Most of us were lucky and managed to stay in our boats but  a few ended up overboard! (it was Friday the 13th after all).

Once back at the centre we all warmed up and headed out for a well deserved dinner.  A thoroughly enjoyable day was had by all!

Jem Berry, Oathill Lodge

Water rafting

Safe on dry land!

oathill girls skimming stones

Skimming stones