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After the big disappointment that we could no longer take children away for a residential weekend unless we were registered with Ofsted we thought: Why don’t we do a family weekend and parents and siblings can come along too!
We advertised the weekend and had a great response with 72 adults and children arriving at PGL at Osmington Bay near Weymouth on Friday 8th July 2016 for the start of a weekend of fun and it did not disappoint.  This was the fifth time DDCS has visited PGL at Osmington Bay, although in a different format this year.
Families arrived on Friday afternoon from all over Dorset, settled into their rooms and after the evening meal joined in with the first activity - Wacky Races. This was hosted by our PGL Buddy, Niam, who wholeheartedly threw himself into demonstrating what was required for the races. This broke the ice and set the ambiance for what was to come – a fun filled weekend. There were some very interesting elephant impressions!

Saturday morning and everyone was up early ready for the great breakfast served in the restaurant which set everyone up for the day’s activities. Our group was split into six activity groups and on the agenda for the first day was Problem Solving, Climbing, Archery, Jacobs Ladder and Orienteering.

It was great to see everyone working together and some overcoming and conquering fears but most of all having fun! After the evening meal it was then time to play ‘Passport to the World’. This entailed finding different flags around the site and answering a question about that country.  We had our own special flight attendant turn up to co-ordinate the game including make up! Have a look at the photos where you might be able to recognise Niam our PGL Buddy.  Some parents then relaxed by the accommodation and some made their way to the bar where children are allowed up until 10pm if accompanied by their parents. DDCS seemed to make up most of their customers!

Waking up on Sunday morning was not as brisk as the day before but everyone was soon ready for the second day of activities which included Aeroball, Giant Swing, Zip Wire, Jacobs Ladder and Orienteering.   At the end of the day it was time for a quick get together for everyone to say goodbye and have an evening meal and return some tired children (and parents) home.

When we set out to organise this weekend we were unsure how it would evolve but it exceeded all expectations and more! To see all the children making friends and having so much fun and the parents making friends and really enjoying themselves as a family and getting the chance to bond with other families was brilliant. Some parents came on their own with their hearing impaired child and were anxious about how it would be, but were soon at ease and making friends.

It was a very special weekend which we will hopefully repeat again!

Feedback questionnaires were given out to the families and all 26 families completed the forms.

  • 25 rated the pre-organisation of the weekend Excellent, 1 rated it Very Good.

  • 23 rated the PGL Centre, staff and Activities Excellent, 3 rated it Good.

  • 25 rated the over-all management of the weekend excellent, 1 rated it Very Good.

These are some of the comments from the children and families:

My daughter said “All the activities were amazing. I had a great time.” We both had an awesome, life changing weekend and a memory making time. Thankyou Shirley! Best Weekend ever!

I had a lovely time and tried things I never thought I would!! I really enjoyed myself. I didn’t think it would be this good!!! What a super weekend. Superbly organised – everything to time and ran like clockwork. Excellent. Please do it again – great to see parents making friends as well as the children. Niam was great.

My child has made a lovely friendship. We appreciate very much the thought that was put into arranging the make-up of the activity groups and location of accommodation. Our buddy was excellent. Our child would not have come on his own, so allowing parents to come enabled him to grow and develop.

Thank you to Shirley. My son says – “Thank you Shirley for organising it. I had fun, thanks I would come again.” Great to spend time with my son who has gained confidence. Lovely memories to take home.

We have had an awesome weekend. Amazing! So much Fun! We have met other families and socialised as well as enjoying the activities, it was incredibly well organised. Please pass on good feedback to PGL instructors and the catering team. Young person – “Another great weekend with DDCS and PGL. I loved it. PGL staff was lovely, the activities were great and of course the food was wonderful too”.

It was a fantastic weekend, the kids and parents really enjoyed it and some good friendships were made. Shirley did a wonderful job and Niam (our buddy) was very good with the kids.

Awesome. Thank you soooooooo much!

The whole family enjoyed the entire weekend. From the activities to food, everything was excellent. My daughter enjoyed meeting her friends and challenged  her brother and herself. Thank you for all the hard work. Young person – I love getting to know people and seeing old friends too.

Amazing weekend had by all the family, very well organised and active weekend.  Have done activities this weekend that I wouldn’t have dreamt of doing and enjoyed every moment. Thank you for the opportunity to do these amazing activities and build memories for the future. Children particularly like the Giant Swing, Aeroball, Zip Wire and Outdoor climbing. Thank you Shirley & Co.

Fantastic weekend. Very well organised by DDCS and PGL. Very impressed with PGL. Highly trained, friendly staff that are great with children. Another great weekend with DDCS, an amazing range of fun activities and things to do. Will definitely come again! Thank you for such an exciting weekend, it was so much fun and the activities, people and food were great! Our buddy, Niam, did a fantastic job!

Great family weekend. Food – quality and quantity excellent. Staff – clearly highly trained and brilliant with the kids.

So impressed. Niam was fab, lovely, funny and such a sweetie. The food was yum yum. A big thankyou to all at PGL.

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Osmington 8
Osmington 7
Osmington 5
Osmington 4
Osmington 1
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