Charlie is 17 and lives at home in Birmingham with his elderly grandparents. They cope well with Charlie but clearly need a break from caring for him. Charlie has an Autistic Spectrum Disorder and has fairly severe learning and behavioural needs.

He has taken part in several holidays at the Wingate Centre with Birmingham PHAB Camps over the years.

“We took charlie with us when he was much younger but his condition became quite difficult for us to manage, he struggled with the routines and structure of the holiday. Last summer we brought Charlie back to The Wingate Centre for a holiday.

Charlie had an amazing time at the Wingate Centre. He was well prepared for his holiday with a diary of pictures showing all the activities taking place and of the Wingate Centre itself. Straight away he felt right at home.

He took part in a range of activities from visits to the swimming pool and the theme park to making tie dye T shirts and a fun session in the gym.”

Benefits to visiting the Wingate Centre

charlie 2“Several things made the holiday possible for Charlie. The Wingate Centre’s staff and attitude to Charlie and his needs meant he was never stressed or upset. As is the case with many children on the Autistic Spectrum, Charlie has very specific dietary needs, only eating a small range of foods. The staff always allowed him to try new things if he wanted to but they were more than willing to give him chicken nuggets or fish fingers every day, even for breakfast! Sometimes at night Charlie will get up and wander about but here we were able to provide a room for him where he had to go through another adjoining room to get out so our volunteers were always fully aware of where he was. The Wingate Centre has plenty of space for children like Charlie to be alone or to feel that they don’t have to be confined. It is extremely safe and secure so we felt at ease if Charlie wanted to go into the garden alone or to walk around the grounds or centre. He would join us in the dining room or the Reiber Hall for example, but if it felt too overwhelming he could find a space elsewhere. Charlie felt free and unchallenged and for the most part this meant a very happy Charlie and a trouble free holiday for all involved.”

Why is The Wingate Centre so special?

“The Wingate Centre is a very special place for all our children who come to stay. Whether they have a physical disability, a learning difficulty, complex needs or, in fact, no disability at all, it perfectly suits their needs. This means we can arrange our holidays for children with a huge range of abilities, knowing with absolute certainty that we will be able to give them the best possible time. There are few, if any, other centres which have the range of equipment and facilities that allow us to bring these children every year and for them to enjoy their time there as much as they do.”

Maxeen, Birmingham PHAB Camps