Customers from our Thurrock Learning Disability service enjoyed a fun-packed weekend in Centre Parcs last month. They were supported by staff to plan and save up for the trip and were then accompanied during the break by Suzanne Potterton, Support Worker and Fiona Dianin, Team Manager.

Customers from our Thurrock Learning Disability service swimming at the paradise pool

L-R: Nicola Shephard (Scott Hse), Victoria Peaford (Devon House),
Fiona Dianin, Team Manager and Tara Paveley (Scott Hse)

Fiona describes more about the trip:

“Most short breaks offer activities-type holidays or relaxing breaks, but Centre Parcs offers the best of both worlds. This gave our customers the opportunity to try an array of different activities that they may never had tried before. Also, as the entire forest site is a ‘car-free’ zone, it makes it a perfect place for cycling around the village.

“Another benefit was that due to the park being only two hours drive away, it meant that one o the customers who usually finds leaving her home extremely challenging, was able to join in and have a go at all the activities which was wonderful.

“We had booked a Woodland Lodge which was both stylish and spacious with en- suite facilities in each bedroom and fully equipped kitchen. The surrounding forest is stunning and we were delighted to see a deer just a few feet from our breakfast table.

“On our first day we kicked off the fun with a ten pin bowling match followed by a cycle ride back to the lodge for a well-deserved pizza! One of the main attractions at the park is the subtropical swimming paradise pool with slides, rapids and lazy rivers and the following day we all had loads of fun splashing around for hours in the pool.

“When the sun eventually made an appearance, the lake was definitely the place to be and we enjoyed a relaxing morning boat ride with the new electric boats so no peddle power required. Later we visited the Aqua Sauna which has a series of different rooms offering experiences including reflexology footbath saunas and a Japanese salt steam bath. The outdoor pool was surprisingly popular despite the weather and chilled music added to the relaxing vibe. Not even the rain could dampen our spirits, although Nicola did ask if it could be sunny next time we go! If only.

“There was a wide variety of different restaurants to choose from however we tucked into a lovely Sunday roast with extra pudding. All in all a thoroughly enjoyable trip was had by all.”

On their return the staff received a beautiful card from Victoria thanking them for a “fantastic, jam-packed trip” and asking when they could go back.

The trip has also resulted in the customers setting up a swimming group as they enjoyed this so much. So, staff are aiming to set a weekly group from September – a really positive legacy from the trip.