water skiing climbing archery fishing enamelling painting encoustic art dog agility African drumming circus skills signing judo dancing DJing karaoke zip-wire speed boat wheelchair basketball live bands talent show fancy dress discos Maldon Brightlingsea ten pin bowling swimming
* activities supplied dependant on date.
"The programme offered us variety and different levels of involvement. There was something for everyone and I don't think there was one thing we did not enjoy."
"Was the programme appropriate? Abso-blooming-lutely!! I wasn't sure what to expect but both my boys (one special needs and one not) have had an excellent time here! :-) "
"My daughter loves coming to the Festival every year as she meets people she hasn’t seen since the previous Festival as well as making new friends. She definitely increases in confidence and independence each year after attending Mersea."
"One young lady had never enjoyed any activity outside her wheelchair. She went down the zipline, zorbed, and did Powerturns. It was for her a life changing experience. A young man who does not communicate or become involved in activities came alive at Crafty Drama. It was an amazing transformation and we (the staff) were in tears."
"I think that the best thing about the camp was not the activities, which were great, or the nights out, which were also great, but the people. The interaction between everybody and relationships I have formed were brilliant and really made the experience that much better."
“It has been the best weekend I have had for ages” - Participant with cerebral palsy who uses an adapted wheelchair
“Relaxing, because no one noticed my disability”
“There was no difference and no discrimination between people with and without disabilities which is what the world at large should be like”
“No problem with communication - people taking the time to listen and understand”
“Group members grew in confidence, self esteem and made new friends. Some undertook activities that they would never had done ever in their life unless they went to Mersea Island Festival”
“Thoroughly enjoyed the Festival and can’t wait til next year”
“I feel much more confident being just me, as people at (the Festival) always accept people for who they are.”
“I am just continually amazed at so many people’s attitudes for having ‘a go’ at absolutely everything! And given the encouragement - to succeed!”
“I feel more confident around people I don’t know, including disabled people.”
“At first I didn’t really make an effort to communicate with disabled people for some reason that I regret. But now I wouldn’t think about it.”
“This is a fantastic idea with not only people with different abilities accessing the facilities, meeting each other, but also working at the festival which was absolutely fantastic to see and everyone so cheerful.”
“We would like to thank everyone involved for the wonderful experience our son had during the week. He had such a great time, was totally involved in all the events and gained so much self confidence! When you think that was the first time he had been away from the family it is a real testament to the event and carers that he was totally happy and secure to enjoy the week away. We thank you all for the hard work you do...you probably do not really realise how valuable your work is!!! “
“I’ve learnt lots more about myself, I’ve come to realise I can help others, and be someone that others can confide in. Before camp, my confidence in these aspects was not very high; I left camp this year feeling I had accomplished loads. The sense of pride I got out of helping others and interacting with such a vast range of different people is worth the time I gave up.” experiencing different things. It also changed my attitude into doing more things that help others and not just myself.”
What was the best thing about the camp for you? “Literally just being able to be the person that can cut someone’s food, or tie someone’s shoe lace.”
“I think the best thing about the camp is the way everybody is so happy and the environment gives each and every camper their chance to do things they may never have done if they had not come to Mersea.”