Handycamp

OVER 190 scouts and leaders from the Woking area came together to ensure a fun-filled weekend for children with special needs at Woodlarks Campsite in Farnham.

The 34th Handycamp was a nursery-themed event with pupils from special needs schools including, Freemantles and The Park schools in Woking, Abbey school in Farnham, Gosden House in Bramley and Portesbery school in Camberley.

A camp goer tries his hand at archery

The 35 children with special needs aged 10 to 16 years old camped with 50 Explorer Scouts aged 14 to 17 years old supported by over 80 leaders, including teachers from the various schools.

All the youngsters took part in activities such as climbing and abseiling on a huge three-face wall specially built by PTG Scaffolding, with HSS Southern in Old Woking supplying some of the safety fencing and lighting.

They also tried their hand at backwoods cooking over open fires, air rifle shooting, kayaking and rafting on the River Wey and constructing model aeroplanes from wood which they then flew through Olympic-style rings on a specially made launching pad.

Intrepid Handycampers take to the water in kayaks

The camp was funded by the Chobham-based Children with Special Needs Foundation, St Faith’s, and the Surrey Army Cadet Force, also received donations from Roberts Butchers in St Johns, Tenakers Farm Shop in Chobham, in addition to funding from Woking Borough Council.

During the weekend, Woking’s Mayor Cllr Beryl Hunwicks visited the camp and experienced the thrill and enjoyment being had by everyone said Brian Pinto, District Explorer Scout Commissioner, Woking.

“The explorer scouts are buddied with the pupils from the local schools, on a one to one or two to one basis, and look after their buddies for the whole weekend, camping and enjoying the activities in patrols.”

He added: “The rain on Saturday did not dampen any spirits, in fact it was the opposite, with lots of fun and laughter from all involved.”

For the full story get the 10 October edition of the News & Mail

THE Chobham-based Children with Special Needs Foundation has donated £4,000 to this weekend’s Handycamp, which is run in conjunction with Woking Scouts.

“This is the 15th year that we have helped to sponsor the Handycamp at Woodlarks, in Farnham,” said Gordon Parris, who began the charity in 1995 when he and his wife, Ann, were mayor and mayoress of Surrey Heath.

ALL IN A GOOD CAUSE – Gordon Parris, founder of the Children with Special Needs Foundation, presents a cheque for £4,000 to Woking Scouts, led by District Explorer Scout Commissioner Brian Pinto, right, to help fund the Handycamp weekend

“The donation to Handycamp covers £1,000-worth of food for the weekend, and the rest goes towards the general running costs.”

Woking Scouts “buddy up” with special-needs students to give them the opportunity to try typical Scouting activities.

“The activities can include swimming, canoeing, archery, even rock-wall climbing,” said Gordon. “We’re trying to help the children achieve even more of their goals.

“We enjoy being able to help this brilliant event as when we visit it is obvious that everyone is having a good time.”

For more information on the work of the foundation or to donate, please visit: https://www.childrenwithspecialneeds.co.uk

For the full story get the 5 September edition of the News & Mail