Highfield's Highreach Holidays hits the giddy heights

Posted on 26th Aug 2021 in Schools, Charity and community work

A charity specialising in residential breaks for children with learning disabilities has really hit the heights again.

Twelve months on from a curtailed programme of activities sparked by the coronavirus pandemic, Highfield Highreach Holidays was back at its brilliant best this month.

A mix of fascinating and fun coach trips and a wealth of hilarious entertainment in the grounds of Highfield and Brookham Schools in Liphook was the perfect tonic for the 20 young disabled holidaymakers who, according to organisers, had a “brilliant” week.

The children, who range in age from eight to 16, got busy with archaeology at Butser Ancient Farm near Petersfield, took a trip around the cosmos at Winchester Planetarium, soaked up the sun on the beach at Littlehampton, and experienced thrills and spills at Chessington World of Adventures.

Back at Highfield and Brookham, the young funseekers demonstrated their singing, dancing and comic prowess in a hilarious talent show which brought the house down, the Alien Olympics – complete with snazzy, dazzling and crazy costumes – was jam-packed with mirth and mayhem, while homemade rockets blasted off into the sky above Highfield courtesy of a spot of ‘sublime science’.

Operating since 2016, Highfield Highreach Holidays keeps costs low for families by raising funds throughout the year to cover more than half of the cost of the holidays, while all the staff are volunteers.

This year, 24 Old Highfieldians returned to their former prep school to volunteer for the week, and they were joined by seven pupils from Churcher’s College in Petersfield who were providing key support as part of their Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme work.

Highfield School Headmaster Phillip Evitt said: “We teach our pupils to give back and to be outward looking, and never is this more tangible than during our extraordinary Highfield Highreach Holidays where we again saw two dozen of our Old Highfieldians volunteer to help out.

“To witness the sheer joy of the children during such a brilliant week was truly heart-warming and leaves me full of delight for the children here on holiday with us and full of heartfelt admiration for the many volunteers who happily give up their time to ensure the week runs smoothly and is a big success.

“Highfield Highreach Holidays also provides necessary respite for the children’s carers, who do such an amazing job.”