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This was by far the most challenging event that Dorset Deaf Children’s Society has ever organised. We have never before undertaken a residential event, but with a partnership with the Hearing Impaired Service and with many hours of organisation, the weekend went ahead in April 2009. 

So it was with some trepidation that eight volunteer adult helpers descended on the PGL site at Osmington Bay, Weymouth to await the arrival of 27 deaf children, aged between 10 and 17 years old, from all over Dorset. 

The weekend started with an evening meal and then, after unpacking, down onto the sand for volleyball and football. Then the children went to bed – well – after the promised midnight feast in their rooms! Saturday’s activities included quad biking, archery, orienteering, and aero ball. Then after tea a surprise – abseiling – specially organised as an extra activity by our PGL “buddy”, Ania, because the children had earned it for their good behaviour. Well done kids!

Sunday involved trampolining, climbing, team games and a beach walk – some in the sunshine and some in the rain! After lunch it was time for one more activity and then a small presentation for the parents of pictures and a slide show. Then every child was presented with a unique certificate, souvenir t-shirts and photos. All that was left was the farewell hugs and lots of swapping of e-mail addresses and mobile numbers before the parents reclaimed their tired children. 

The benefits of the weekend were not just the taking part in the activities but the social interaction, confidence building and friendships made. It was a great weekend for the adults as well as the children – will we do it again next year? Watch this space!

A big thank you to Ursula Murley for all the hours of work she put into organising the weekend. It couldn’t have happened without you!

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