Here, Jason talks about both his and his son Luke’s experience of our holiday clubs, and how they have made a difference to their lives.
The holiday clubs that East Kent Mencap run during the summer are really important for my son, Luke. Like many children with a learning disability, Luke doesn’t have any friends, and would spend his summer holidays alone if it weren’t for these clubs.
Although Luke requires some encouragement to do things, when he is out and about he really enjoys himself. This is a pivotal moment in Luke’s life, where he is between childhood and adulthood, so socialising with people other than his parents is very important for his personal development.
Luke really enjoyed the most recent holiday club, where he not only got to spend time with his peers but also with East Kent Mencap’s staff, some of whom were young people. This provided Luke with the opportunity to experience young people who don’t have special needs, which I think is really important. I hope that Luke can go to college in the near future and feel that this exposure will help make that possible.
As parents, we need the support of organisations such as East Kent Mencap. We have another profoundly disabled child, as well as a six-year-old. The children’s needs are so diverse, making it impossible to go out together as a family. East Kent Mencap’s holiday clubs provide much needed respite for us during the summer.