Sunday, August 04, 2013

In Control: the planning - ideas, adventures and paperwork

Following on from here and the workshops...
£200 to spend as we wish, to improve the days to day lives of our children - and our family - over the summer holidays...  As a group we had previously pondered, deliberated and cogitated, sharing our thoughts, ideas and wish lists:
a swing
a hammock
a bolthole to escape to 
a CEA card
a place to go when it's raining
an extra pair of hands
a holiday
a day trip
improvements to the garden
drama lessons
swimming lessons
more hours at summer club
D and I took the discussion home, asking N and E what they would like to do with the money - after all, this was to benefit them - and it was unanimous - they wanted to go camping.  Having never spent a night under canvas with them, I was a little reluctant to go straight out, spend the money on a tent and head for the hills.  Instead we borrowed a tent from a neighbour and set up camp in N's room.  We nestled down around the campfire (a night light) and read by torchlight under the stars (fairy lights) until the girls fell asleep.  N spent two nights under canvas - she was converted!  E on the other hand wasn't too sure, but that could have been something to do with her sister's snoring!
under canvas by torchlight
Now with that decision made we had to do some investigating: camping with children and a powerchair, is it feasible?  We decided quickly that we did not want to spend the money on equipment - if it wasn't a success then the money had been wasted.  So, thinking a little "out of the box", we came up with the option of looking at fixed tent sites and glamping.
"Going camping, but with glamour. A combination of the two words. It's like regular camping , but with nicer things than usual, being warmer, and more comfortable. Glamping isn't done by usual outdoor types who climb mountains."
Yes! Yes! Yes!  This was much more us!
Decision made - glamping! - it was now time to look at sites and check out accessibility and the ability to charge a power hungry snappie overnight.  After a number of emails and tweets - oh! the power of social media! - we narrowed it down to Feather Down Farm Days and Jolly Days and then decided upon Feather Down Farm Days for affordability and the ability to charge snappie.  As I hit the "confirm" button, I was excited and smiling - oh, what fun was to be had!  The tents themselves aren't accessible and may be a little difficult to navigate with a snappie, but we have ramps, a manual chair and we are lucky that we can still lift E comfortably and safely.  We had to try this, go exploring and enjoy the adventure.
Filling out the paperwork from In Control wasn't too bad at all, we needed to show how we were going to use the money and why we had chosen to do  what we had, using  SHANARRI to help define the outcomes we want to achieve for our family. 

How did we do this?  I can't remember verbatim what I wrote on the form but it would have included some, if not all of these points:

We wanted to camp safely, with suitable facilities for Eilidh, allowing for lifts and transfers.
Camping in the great outdoors, surrounded by beautiful countryside and vast amounts of fresh air; what could be healthier, I ask you?
An active holiday - this certainly covers this objective!
By holidaying as a family we are able to nurture our bonds as a family but also on an individual level and perhaps on personal one too 
We wanted to respect our children's ideas, thoughts and wishes; they want to go camping, so let's try to!
Teaching Eilidh that the world around her is as inclusive as it can be is important to us: if she wants to camp, she can!

(not all the objectives need to be included - on this occasion we didn't include achieving and responsibilities)

With the paperwork complete, and after meeting with our social worker, who needed to talk through the form with us, £200 was transferred to our account to spend on our glamping extravaganza!  Let the fun begin...

See the links to the other In Control Pilot posts:

In Control - taking the first steps

In Control: the planning - ideas, adventures and paperwork
In Control: the fun - budget spent = fun, fun, FUN!
In Control: the experience overall - the good, the bad and the ugly


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