From 4-11 August, Highfield and Brookham Schools in Liphook welcomed 19 children and young adults for their annual Highreach Holiday. The children came from across West Sussex, Oxfordshire, Hampshire and Surrey.
Highreach Holidays is a small volunteer-run organisation that provides a week-long residential holiday for children and young adults, aged 8 -16 years old, with a range of learning difficulties, who may also have physical disabilities or medical conditions. It allows them to enjoy a week full of memorable experiences in the safe environment of Highfield and Brookham Schools.
It also provides crucial respite for the children’s families. The organisation accommodates those families who cannot afford the high price of many commercial respite care schemes. Costs are kept low by raising funds to cover more than 50% of the price of the holidays, and because all of the staff are volunteers.
Phillip Evitt, headmaster of Highfield School, said: “I have the chance to see the school that we all care deeply about used in the very best way, from the swimming pool to the woods. This year 19 Old Highfieldians were volunteers for Highreach. They come back as remarkable young adults; caring, polite, hardworking and with the most generous spirits.”
The Highreach holidaymakers enjoyed a whole host of onsite activities, such as a magic show by Adam The Magic Music Man from Portsmouth, pizza cooking, swimming, bush craft and sensory play. They also ventured on offsite trips including Marwell Activity Centre in Winchester, Butser Ancient Farm in Waterlooville and Chessington World of Adventures.
Meanwhile, their families and carers took the time to do things that we may take for granted. One set of parents, for example, went on holiday for the first time in 20 years, while another took their other children to the cinema and out for dinner.
Louise, whose daughter attended this year’s Highreach Holiday, said: “She has had the most wonderful holiday and enjoyed every minute of it. Thank you all so so much for making her so happy, she absolutely loves coming and counts down to the day! We had the most wonderful break and appreciate it very much.”
To find out more about next year’s Highreach Holiday visit highfieldschool.org.uk/highreach