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The Castlebar School is based in Ealing. It is a Local Authority Maintained Special School for boys and girls aged 4-11 years. The children in the school have moderate to severe learning difficulties, including autistic spectrum disorders. Every year, the school holds a camp for a small number of students and this year Your One Wish were proud to fund this.

Message from a member of staff at the Castlebar School:

“The funding received gave pupils the opportunity to spend a night away from home in a safe and fun environment providing opportunities to:

• Develop their independence and decision making skills. The pupil all went shopping to choose what they would have for their tea; they helped prepare the food and to clear away afterwards. They got themselves washed and dressed, they packed up their things and put away the tents.

• Socialise with friends and make new friends – the children played games together (interacting with peers and with adults), they worked together as a team (setting up the tents, preparing the food, clearing up) they chatted together well after lights out!

• Further develop their communication skills – both Castlebar and the Ace Camp staff were great at engaging with the children, encouraging them to join in games which encouraged peer to peer communication, developed confidence and self-esteem. Nobody sat quietly on the side-lines – everyone joined in the fun and all of the children said how much they had enjoyed the camp.

Because of the funding this year’s Ace Camp was extremely popular with parents, many of which are on low incomes and therefore would have struggled to pay. For the first time ever staff did not have to encourage parents to sign up for the camp and more children than usual were able to join in the fun. Parents often receive very little respite care so a night off where they could spend time with other family members is very precious. At Castlebar we try very hard to support our families – we do this by offering afterschool clubs, family workshops and outings where the whole family can attend too. We also run 3 weeks of holiday club provision per year (2 weeks during the summer and 1 week at Easter), these are staffed by our own highly trained staff to provide consistency and knowledge to support pupils whilst ensuring they have a great deal of fun and are as active as possible. The T-shirts provided added a new dimension – pupils enjoyed dressing up in the same shirt and were keen to take their T-shirts home as a lasting memento of such a fun event.
Many thanks to all at the ‘Your One Wish’ charity for making this event such a success, from all the pupils and staff at Castlebar!!!”

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