01 June 2014

Back from Butlins

Last Monday 26th May, the Maldon Pioneers returned back to Maldon to a warm welcome from friends, relatives and carers of the Pioneers. Once again Butlins in Minehead was the location and once again everyone had a really fun and enjoyable time. The accommodation was better than last years since the resort had seen fit to upgrade us all to chalets with more room. Each chalet had a sitting room this time which meant we had space where we could gather and socialise with one another. Again we all enjoyed the upgraded restaurant breakfast and evening meals. The evening shows and entertainment were brilliant and most Pioneers were happy to turn in for Bed once the shows had finished. The helpers were on hand to escort those Pioneers who wanted company walking back to the Chalets. The Pioneers like to mix of either staying on the resort some days, heading off into Minhead for a bit of retail therapy or just enjoying the town and the walk along the promenade from the resort. Other days we like to organise day trips. This year Jeff planned a trip to Ilfracombe which was enjoyed by all those who went. Another trip was to a local zoo a few miles away and I thin one of the real highlights this year was probably the steam train trip down the coast. We did this on the Saturday because it was David’s birthday. David said he wanted to go on the train for his Birthday and he wanted as many of his friends to join him. The trip was a special trip which included a fish and chips meal included in the price. Again, everyone had a fun time.

What made this years holiday slightly different this year was the emphasis on LIfe Skills and Personal Development. We made sure that it didn’t impact on the holiday too much but one of the reasons the holiday was able to be subsidised this year was our funding which needed to be spent wisely on embedding some elements of education into LIfe Skills and Personal Development. Many of the Pioneers were encouraged to identify areas where they felt they perhaps needed to focus on and to be empowered to be more independent and less reliant on others. Just simple things like personal hygiene, learning to do more for ones self and for other Pioneers was focused on and its uplifting for the Pioneers to realise the achievements that have been made. Personal safety issues can be tackled in a fun way and we had fun deciding how much money to take out for spending money and then Tony spent a little time showing a few Pioneers how to add some of the money up and the importance of getting the right change back. All the Pioneers enjoyed filling out evaluation questionnaires about what new skills they had thought about as the week went on. We hope to build on this educational side to being a Pioneer, through other activities we will be doing throughout the rest of the year.

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