'Thank you so so much for this week. She was on a high the entire time with excitement at what she had to look forward to each afternoon. Her memory is pretty poor but she kept asking me when was her water camp happening as she remembered it from last year so vividly. With all her sensory issues, she would normally struggle with fear of doing any of those activities but she embraced them! Whatever you do and however you guys do it is magic...
I hope you know the difference you guys make to the lives of our kids and indeed to our lives as their parents and siblings. It is really exceptional.
I have one very content 15 year old who has grown in confidence so much. Thank you.'
'What can I say... this week was yet another incredibly memorable and important week for him. I wish I had been in the water with you guys but I know that I must allow him his own independence and build relationships without me or his dad in the foreground. It was a first for him without us in this way and he thrived!!! Rhys, by all accounts was a rockstar, and you continue to recruit and lead an exceptional team. Please let them all know from the bottom of my heart how much we appreciate this camp and their work. Your teams energy, positivity and inclusive attitude is what life is all about. Thank you yet again for showing him and kids like him what life has to offer.'
'To all involved in the camp, my son had a great time for the past 3 weeks, so good for him and the facilitators were just amazing each and everyone. I would hope that he could access this service long into the future as it met all of his needs and he was so happy attending every day, he vocalised this and he is minimally verbal so it takes a big motivator for him to use language. This is testament to the great service provided to him the past 3 weeks. I would like to give a particular mention to Jen from Kilkenny, she was so kind to him and has such a wonderful presence around him. Thank you Collie and your super team, can't thank you enough.'
Darren was a young person who grew up in a household where he was loved, but a household that he witnessed lots of violence and alcohol use.
As he grew up, he started to realise that his family was not like others.
Darren found it hard to deal with this situation and the massive feelings it brought up in him.
He didn’t want to see his school friends because they had started to ask questions. Soon Darren began to refuse to go to school at all. He fell into despair and started to treat himself poorly.
Active Connections was asked to help Darren start to deal with these feelings and the behaviours they brought up.
Darren was given a key worker, someone who would week after week turn up for him. Starting with speaking through a door but after a short time they spent more and more time outdoors. When outdoors Darren learned to achieve in a range of activities, he learned to trust his key worker and overcame lots of challenges/adversities.
Darren was supported for 6 months, in that time he started to feel better about himself, he started to go back to school and things got better at home.
“I don’t know exactly what to say but I know I’d like to thank Active Connections especially my key worker for honestly helping me through a rough patch over the past year. Thank you for all the experiences and memories, thank you for turning on the light when I was lost in the dark, just thanks you for everything” Darren
*Name changed to maintain confidentiality
'... Just wanted to say again how thankful we are that my son got the opportunity to attend. Dawn and Shauna and all the counsellors looked after him so well and he felt so comfortable. Usually he wouldn't settle into a camp environment for a while, but they really understood him. The pictures were amazing - all the kids were so happy! Because he's not able to tell us about his day it was really cool to see all the things he did! This kind of experience will stay with him for life, and we're very grateful to you all, thank you so much.'
‘I can’t articulate how much I am impressed with this camp, The instructor firstly were the perfect blend of chilled and utterly capable and vigilant, with a huge slice of passion for what they were teaching also. Their kindness as with yours is very very rare in my experience of camps. I mean that in a way that I know to have all factors aligned is a true blessing and can be difficult to achieve. You have done so effortlessly; every morning a warm and kind face met us and took J happily to start his day. The level of attention, one to one or sometimes two to one, was remarkable. The education value was so wonderful in the water and safety instructions and respect for deep water was so vital, the way the games and interactions occurred made J aware unbeknownst to himself about water safely was excellent too. Every day he came home utterly satisfied, exhausted, fulfilled and so so happy! His greatest wish and hope is to have a friend and he met lovely people that made him feel included, taught him kindly, laughed at his jokes and made him feel capable and well normal. Every night he fell asleep smiling to himself. Honestly Thank You might seem trite but what you provided was so much more than a water camp. J is walking around the house feeling ten foot tall, and can’t wait to meet you all again and be part of that special special place. I know it was more than the perfect sunshine and the healing power of the water itself, it was a crew led so well and an intuitive group of people that worked so well together very obviously with a deep kindness as their common foundation. I include Gwen in this feedback as kind and thoughtful and helpful and understanding as one could ask. I think what is so wonderful in this camp how you may not be fully aware of the immense impact you’ve all made to me and to J. Roll on next year and if there is another camp and sailing, please please don’t hesitate to call, email, carrier pigeon, or drone … let me know.’