As we reached the height of the summer holidays, we found ourselves heading down south to the seaside for our August Family Weekend. We were once again visiting the stunning PGL Osmington Bay, with its fantastic cliff-top location and coastal views. Thankfully the sun shone (most of the time) and the weekend was enjoyed by every single person who attended.

Osmington Bay

The view over Osmington Bay from the top of the PGL site

We had 45 families at this family weekend, with over 200 people in attendance. For 16 of these families it was their first VICTA family weekend, so it was brilliant to see people catching up with old friends and meeting new ones.

Children meeting their groups at the ice breaker games

Children meeting their groups at the ice breaker games

For the parents, the first day consisted of workshops and seminars designed to equip and empower them in raising their VI children. We had an extended seminar from Gurvinder Kaur on EHCPs, which is always very helpful and well received. After lunch, we were fortunate enough to have three young people come and share their experiences of living with sight loss. This session definitely seemed to be a highlight for many of the parents, and they left feeling inspired and reassured about their children’s future.

Gurvinder Kaur giving a seminar on EHCPs

Gurvinder Kaur delivering her seminar on EHCPs to parents

Young person presentations

Ellie, Eddy and Warren spoke about their experiences with sight loss and answered parent’s questions

Finally, due to its popularity in previous years, we had another goalball taster session. The parents who took part literally threw themselves into it, and it seemed equally enjoyable for players and spectators! Hopefully this will be a great route into VI sport for their children. Throughout the day we had several technology companies demonstrating what they provide, which again parents and children found very useful.

Parents having fun at the goal ball taster

Parents having fun at the goal ball taster

Exploring new technologies

Exploring new technologies

The children meanwhile were kept busy all weekend with the zip wire, giant swing, quad bikes and more. Thanks to our fabulous volunteers, parents were able to leave their children throughout these sessions which really helped the children make friends and grow in confidence and independence – and gave the parents a break too!

Climbing to the trapeze

Climbing to the trapeze

Preparing harnesses

Preparing harnesses

The giant swing

The giant swing

On Saturday parents had a chance to unwind and enjoy all that PGL had to offer. By the sound of the stories in the evening, some of the most competitive dragon boat racing that PGL had ever seen had taken place between the parent groups! It was also clear that the adults screamed much louder on the giant swing than the children did!

Parents at the giant swing

Parents – still smiling after the heights of the giant swing

Our ‘Around the World’ themed party night definitely didn’t disappoint, and we were amazed at the creativity displayed in everyone’s costumes. This year all costumes were audio described to make it a fully accessible occasion for everyone. After the quiz and parade everyone hit the dance floor for some disco classics.

Fancy dress prize winner

One of the prize winners at the ‘Around the World’ fancy dress party

Winning volunteer costume

The winner of the best volunteer costume – complete with audio described and Brailled flags

All too soon, it was Sunday lunch and time to go home. But we’re sure it won’t be too long before we see everyone again. Thank you to all of the families who attended and made this weekend what it was, our fabulous speakers, and as always our brilliant volunteers!

Group at the family weekend

The Colosseum group ready for activities

 

Visit the full Summer Family Weekend 2017 image gallery >

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