Highfield and Brookham Schools Hosts Respite Holiday
From 4th to 11th August, we 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 an incredible week full of memorable experiences in the safe environment of Highfield and Brookham Schools. It also provides crucial respite for the families of these children. The organisation also 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 cost of the holidays, and because all of the staff are volunteers.
We are blessed to be set in 175 acres of glorious South Downs countryside and boast wonderful facilities and academic success but, at the core of our school and, what makes our heart beat hardest, is our ethos and beliefs that makes us truly unique. We teach our pupils to ‘give back’, to be ‘outward looking’ and never is this more tangible than during our extraordinary Highreach Holiday.
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 Holiday Makers enjoyed a whole host of onsite activities - a magic show by Adam The Magic Music Man from Portsmouth, pizza cooking made possible by Cedar Valley in East Meon loaning their mobile pizza oven, swimming, bush craft and sensory play. They also enjoyed offsite trips including Marwell Activity Centre in Winchester, Butser Ancient Farm in Waterlooville, Chessington World of Adventures and a trip to Littlehampton beach. A big thank you to all those involved with making the trips a great success and also to the team at Woods Travel in Bognor Regis for their generous supply of coaches.
The families and carers of the holiday makers have the opportunity to reset. They take time to do things that we may take for granted. This year, one set of parents went on holiday for the first time in 20 years, another took their other children to the cinema and out for dinner. And next year, we have one set of parents who are planning on renewing their wedding vows. This week allows an opportunity for people to spend time together and the requests for 2020 dates are coming in thick and fast already.
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.