Camp 1 Sun 21 Aug - Fri 26 Aug 2022
Camp 2 Fri 26 Aug - Mon 29 Aug 2022
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What was the best thing about the camp?

Friendship: Meeting people that I wouldn’t meet in my day to day life and making friends for life (new Vol)

A lot of activities to attend and ability to organise your own timetable

The inclusive nature of it. It’s so refreshing for our young people to be treated as ‘normal’ and not singled out

Seeing what different individual achieve out of coming to camp and how people have progressed

Even if you just choose to sit and watch the world go by you are swept up in the most magical of atmospheres. It is a very special place.

Staff and volunteers:
The staff were always on hand to help and give support. The commitment of the activities teams were outstanding in how they respectfully helped our members to be able to enjoy all that was on offer. The volunteers worked tirelessly… honestly made it one of the best weeks of our lives

“The spirit of the festival is quite apparent. Love, laughter and happiness all the way was what I noticed and for me that is perfect”

“All of the helpers were fantastic in helping me with all my needs. I wouldn’t be able to do things like the zipwire at home and it’s lovely to be able to experience this.”

“We had amazing quality time together with fantastic activities and brilliant staff and volunteers. The other campers so friendly and helpful such a great atmosphere.”

“It was our first time and didn’t really know what to expect. All the staff/volunteers need medals. They were all very kind. Not a dull moment. My son was so tired and I had to take him for little rests in the tent. Everyone was so happy. Even the rainy day, I am overwhelmed how amazing it was and would definitely go again.”

“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.”