Community Holiday Fun
In August 2019, 24 children with special needs participated in the annual Community Holiday at St John’s. This annual event offers the visiting children a week of enjoyable activities and provides their parents with respite, while also being a rewarding and valuable experience for the 39 current and former St John’s pupils who assisted and cared for the visiting children throughout the week.
Most of the helpers worked one-to-one with the children, assisting them throughout the day and caring for them overnight. Six of the former pupils managed groups of helpers, gaining leadership experience, whilst a further two were part of the senior team that organised activities and helped out as required.
The children enjoyed a packed week of varied activities. These included dancing, cooking, arts and crafts, a fashion show, den-building, sports and games on site, plus the opportunity to participate in a circus skills workshop and to touch rare animals, including snakes. They also enjoyed a magic show. Trips included swimming at Downsend School, companion cycling in Bushy Park, gymnastics at Leatherhead Gymnastics Club, horse-riding, plus Hobbledown Farm in Epsom and Chessington World of Adventures. One of the best days out was to the seaside at Littlehampton, where all enjoyed the sandy beach, beach-combing, playing in the sea, circus games and going on funfair rides.
Once again the holiday proved a great experience for all involved. The children had an enjoyable week, caught up with old friends and made new ones. The children’s parents enjoyed a week of respite and the volunteer helpers gained from the responsibility of looking after a child. We thank everyone involved in making this annual event such a success, including the Tim Henman Foundation which made a generous funding award to the holiday this year, and look forward to 2020.