Camp 1 Sun 18 Aug - Fri 23 Aug 2024
Camp 2 Fri 23 Aug - Mon 26 Aug 2024
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Frequently Asked Questions

Where is it?
Essex Outdoors Mersea is an established outdoor centre on Mersea Island, 10 miles from Colchester on the Essex coast (CO5 8SX). For details of how to get to the centre by road or rail visit our ‘How to find us’ page.

Who can come?
The camps are ideal for families, inclusive clubs and youth groups, Phab and Gateway clubs. You don’t have to have a disability to attend. Many of our more adventurous activities are for those aged 8 and above but there is plenty for people of all ages to have a go at and enjoy.

Which groups come to the Festival?
During the week, our regular groups include Festival Friends (Essex) and Avenues East (Suffolk). At the weekend, Footsteps (South Essex) and We Do Care (Hertfordshire) have been coming for many years. Our Day Visitors include Braintree Mencap.

Can I come on my own?
Those aged under 18 need to attend with a responsible adult. Individual adults with a disability will have a great time and soon make new friends but need to be independent. The Festival volunteers aren’t able to provide personal support. If you need this then consider coming with someone who can help you but can also get involved in the Festival programme.

Is there an age limit at the Festival?
Some of our activities are only for those who are at least 7 or 8 years of age and in Year 3 at school. Participation is still subject to the correct fitting of any safety equipment necessary. For details of the relevant activities, see our Activities page. There is plenty for people of all ages to have a go at and enjoy. Please contact us if you have a query related to the age of a participant.

What do we do?
There’s a wide variety of activities that are fun and exciting but also challenge and stimulate, helping to build self-confidence and esteem in participants. See our Activities page for further details. We can’t promise them all and what goes in the programme depends on availability.  Each year the Festival has a different theme and previously we’ve been Pirates, Romans, Superheroes and Cowboys at the fancy dress parties!

Where do we sleep?
Accommodation is mostly in tents but we do have some beds in cabins for those who find it impossible to sleep in a tent. The cabins or rooms have lighting, heating and power but no ensuite facilities. These are in great demand so please contact us as soon as possible if you may need one. For campers we can provide a tent with a built-in groundsheet and mattress on the floor. Alternatively some campers bring their own tent. Just let us know on your booking form.

What do we sleep on?
In a tent we provide a groundsheet and mattress as standard. We do have a limited supply of beds for those who have difficulty sleeping on or getting up from the floor. In a cabin there are bunk beds with mattresses. Please provide details of any requirements on your booking form.

Where do we eat?
Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served in the dining hall and we aim to meet all individual dietary requirements stated on your medical and consent form. Snacks and bottled drinks are available from vending machines, tea and coffee is available 24/7 in our dining hall, and a snack bar and drinks bar are open during the entertainment each evening. For health and safety reasons we cannot allow the cooking of own food on the site by those attending the Festival.

What accessible facilities do you have?
The whole site is on one level and the halls, bar, toilet and shower blocks are wheelchair accessible. There are 5 accessible toilet and shower rooms and an accessible toilet. We have a shower table and changing table. One of the toilet and shower rooms has a ceiling hoist and we also have a portable hoist. We do ask that visitors bring their own slings. Commodes and other equipment can be arranged with sufficient notice. Please provide details of any requirements on your booking form.

What medical support is provided?
The Festival makes sure that there are qualified first aiders on site to help anyone who might need some urgent treatment after an injury. For any medical assistance beyond that we can provide details of the nearest pharmacist, medical practice or hospital.

The Festival is not able to provide medication support to those attending in a group. Any support to those attending as an individual must be agreed prior to the Festival. The Festival cannot provide individual, one to one personal care e.g. toileting, showering or skin cream applications.

We will send you a medical and consent form prior to the Festival so you can let us know about any specific needs you may have.

What personal support is provided?
Our team of volunteers are on hand to make sure that everyone can have a fun and great experience, whatever their ability. Unfortunately we are unable to provide respite care or personal support. If support is needed we do ask that you come along with a friend, buddy or support worker.

What should I bring?
You can see a suggested kit list on our booking page here

Can I bring my dog?
Only assistance dogs can be brought to the Festival. Prior notice must be given to the Festival Co-ordinator so that those who may have a phobia of dogs can be informed.

Where can I charge my phone?
We offer a charging facility in the main office. You can drop of your device with a charge lead and we will give you a ticket. When you want your device, simply present the ticket.

How much is it?
See our booking page for prices

Not sure if it’s right for you? Give us a call and we’ll talk it through with you. Contact us