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3 Day Residential Event

In April we packed our bags and set off on a coach with Patricia Holczimmer for AIM’s first three day residential with Young Greenwich to Hindleep Warren Activity Centre in Ashdown Forest.

The young people and parents took on a variety of activities such as ziplining, climbing wall, crate challenge, archery, pentagon lower, forest adventure, dry assault course, camp fire with smores, a movie night with pizza and a dry assault course!

It was so rewarding to see the kids developing new skills, pushing their boundaries both physical and mental and doing things they never thought they could.

For the families as a whole it was great for the kids to see their parents taking part, and for the parents to bond with each other.

Deep bonds were formed and friends for life made. It’s often said that we as autistics are stunted socially and can’t communicate with others (regardless if we are non speaking or not) .Let me reassure you that autistic kids, teens and adults communicate perfectly well with each other… so maybe we aren’t the issue.

You see, the parents are also neurodivergent themselves and there was not one second of akwardness. There was constant laughing, joking and talks together that went well into the night. Banter, and much of it..

Bonding. ✅ Team work ✅ Fun✅ Confidence building ✅….. Perfection ✅.

See the coach here:

“Alfie was able to try the activities he wanted to do without pressure. With each activity I watched his confidence grow! By the end he was putting his hand up to go first which is something he would usually shy away from. Alfie said “ it was fun, I felt happy and safe with everyone there”.

Sid was given the time needed at each activity to watch the others do it and decide if he’d like to try. He tried things he would usually say he can’t do with encouragement from the adults but without pressure. He climbed a ladder for the first time and although he was scared he was proud of what he had achieved. Sid said “ I liked the activities, my favourite was archery and being with my friends”. Sarah Edwards.

“Me and my son really enjoyed the residential trip to Hindleap Warren. We got to do loads of activities together.

We both made some great friendships. It was fun, lots of laughter. It was nice to see my son interacting with others, to see him smile and have the courage to join in and work as a team within our group.

The activities we got to do were great, we both pushed ourselves to do things that were out of our comfort zones and to realise we both have more confidence than we thought.

We’re not used to staying away from home, so this was a big step for us too. Hindleap is a really nice place to stay.

When we done the high ropes we done it together and was encouraging each other to do it and worked as a team, supporting each other along the way.

All in all, the trip gave us both more confidence to interact with others, make friendships, enjoy ourselves, live in the moment, work as a team, encourage one another, support people when we could, to be brave and accomplish things that we were nervous about.

We would love to do this again one day, we lived our best lives.” Michelle Webb.

“My daughters were nervous about going away somewhere new and although we was all very well prepared and shown visuals by our host from Patricia they still questioned me about it what would be expected of them etc.

We got on a coach and it was the girls first trip on a coach they had a great time just on the journey to Hindleap.

When at Hindleap we was greeted by staff who welcomed all of us and explained what would be happening, we were shown to our rooms.

My daughters and myself both had an amazing few days, partaking in new experiences and making memories, building friendships and working together as teams.

It was special and we are truly grateful for the experience, many thanks.” Tara McLaren


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