Tikva’s young men enjoyed a thrilling summer programme at the Overstrand Hall in Cromer, Norfolk. Led once again by indefatigable Camp Manager Mark Grosskopf and his dedicated team of staff and volunteers, it was a summer to remember!
On a glorious sunny Monday morning in May, a group of Tikva mothers piled into a comfortable minivan which transported them to a dream-like mini-retreat which lasted one day but felt like a week away from the hustle, bustle and stresses of their everyday lives.
Arriving at the beautiful mansion located on acres well-kept grounds, mothers were indulged with beautiful welcome pack including a current magazine to enjoy while relax on the plush lawns, a swim in a beautiful indoor pool, a lavish catered lunch and a fun exercise session.
A strong sense of camaraderie and friendship was felt while the mothers took walks on the breathtaking grounds or relaxed on the comfortable loungers while chatting with their peers and giving each other strength to continue in their challenging lives.
Tikva ran a pilot two-week summer camp in conjunction with Step Up (a division of Step by Step disability charity) which is headed by Mr Mark Grosskopf.
The Step-up/Tikva group consisted of 17 adults with learning disabilities plus 18 support workers under the guidance of our experienced and devoted head counsellor Mr Israel Morgenstern.
With a theme WHO AM I? there was an infinite number of possibilities to fully amuse and occupy the campers for 13 action-packed days.
Every day had a ‘topic’ and was celebrated a series of creative activities and relevant day-trips. Campers had a chance to dress up like their favourite singer, try their hand at being a baker, visit Legoland as builders, squirt water from a real fire engine like a fire fighter, perform in a circus as a magician or even make-believe that they were a groom, businessman, coach driver, first aider or pilot.
Other activities included orienteering, swimming, outdoor sports, visiting an air museum, watching a video and enjoying races, quizzes, parties with live singing and dancing all in good cheer with the trademark warm atmosphere Tikva is famous for.
Campers all returned feeling refreshed and accomplished, feeling that their dreams & wishes had come true!
In contrast to the cold, icy weather outside, Tikva parent-carers enjoyed warm camaraderie and a fun-filled event enhanced by gourmet food and a rich programme. The highlight was an interactive drumming session facilitated by a professional drummer. The shining faces and the wide grins of the participants said it all.
Amidst the sunshine & sea of the Bournemouth holiday resort, a group of weary and overworked carers enjoyed a most luxurious break, at our annual two-day retreat. Excellent cuisine & perfect weather complemented their stay at a four-star cosy hotel. Guest welcome packs including snacks and gifts were presented to every participant upon arrival, making each one feel special and valued.
Participants were pampered with a full programme of activities and entertainment including a Spa day at the five star Captain’s Club Hotel topped off with a rejuvenating massage and a relaxing river cruise through the scenic Christchurch Quay.
Carers returned home feeling totally refreshed & revitalised. Some feedback from grateful participants:
“A fantastic break which enabled me to switch off after the pressure of the past few months. A great opportunity to catch up with peers, who I only meet at Tikva events. It opened new vistas for me and offered a safe space to unload!” (Pamela K.)
“After enjoying a complete break at the Tikva retreat, the daily grind I faced upon my return home somehow did not seem so daunting anymore, since I felt so re-energised.” (Louise K. age 59)
““Great location, delicious food, wonderful company & even the weather smiled at us!”
“Felt rejuvenated, enjoyed the companionship and exchange of info, great location, perfect weather and the right mix of activities!”
“I’ve never laughed so much in my entire life!” commented Mrs Wallis wiping away tears of laughter.
Carers laughed away their stresses and worries with world-class comedian Marianne Hermes from Lakewood, New Jersey who gave a spectacular performance to a large group of parent-carers.
The majority of participants are so tied down with their caring duties, that they rarely get the chance to go out in the evenings or socialise with peers.
Tikva staff therefore went the extra mile and arranged support workers/sitters for their loved ones so that carers who would otherwise not be able to attend, would not miss out on our ‘annual evening of inspiration’.
In addition to seeking out general funding opportunities, Tikva endeavours to generate its own resources by creating awareness of the needs of the disabled in the local community and involving them in our fundraising activities.
In 2016, TIKVA launched a very successful fundraising campaign in the community. The trek4tikva walkathon attracted around 100 participants, including some disabled walkers, from the London boroughs of Hackney, Haringey and Barnet. The aim was to promote Tikva’s activities and to secure much-needed funding for our bi-annual rural breaks for disabled adults.
Over £11,000 was raised by walkers who had a choice between a shorter 3.5km trek or the longer 7km riverside route along London’s River Lee & surrounding marshes. The grand finale was a lavish sponsored brunch at a local restaurant, including free make-overs for participants.
One grateful Tikva beneficiary, a carer of two sons with autism managed to raise £1,600 from friends and acquaintances and looks forward to joining us this summer.
The Second annual Trek4Tikva which took place on Wednesday 19 July 2017 also raised much interest in the local community.