Revitalise Respite Holidays
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As the song goes “I get by with a
little help from my friends”, well Sandpipers, a holiday centre run by Revitalise
to create revitalising holidays for disabled people and carers, certainly lives
up to this ethos.
Sandpipers, a lovely centre sitting
on Marine Lake, north of Southport is like the Green Sandpiper bird that the
holiday centre is named after, very rare and very special.
My sister who has Down’s Syndrome
and I joined our host Darren, General Manager and his amazing staff for a
three-day break at this special place. Why special you may ask? Revitalise has
created a fully accessible holiday centre for disabled people to enjoy a
much-needed break, with or without their carer.
The purpose-built, fully
accessible accommodation has specialist equipment, hoists and profiling beds
with airflow mattresses for the comfort of the guests. Two large lifts take you
from the reception and some guest rooms to the dining room and lounge/bar. Call
systems are in place throughout the centre and a qualified team of Registered
Nurses and Holiday Care Assistants are very well trained to help with the needs
of guests. This seamless package includes 24-hour care, which enhances the
feeling that you are in a safe and secure environment.
With 55 years of experience,
Revitalise are professionals when it comes to catering for disabled guests. It
is a place that makes you feel relaxed and welcome as you come through the
door. The reception is warm and friendly, and a member of staff will take you
to your room and help you get acquainted with your surroundings. Help is given
to unpack your case and the Nursing team will arrive to see you and take the
details of your medication and needs.
The quality of hospitality at Sandpipers
is excellent. The full board arrangements are a cooked breakfast, good lunches,
or if you are out on one of the many trips a packed lunch is provided. The
evening meal is a treat with a starter of your choice plus the main meal and a
dessert with tea or coffee to follow. The 7-night breaks begin on a Monday and
the support packages start from £26 per night to £134 per night depending on
your care support needs.
The volunteers come from all
walks of life, bringing lots of needed energy and laughter. Some doing their
Duke of Edinburgh certificate, some from college wanting to train as
paramedics, so experience is gained at the centre. Some are from Europe or even
as far away as Australia to get the experience they need to work and help guests
have a truly memorable stay.
The Revitalise Care Staff are brilliant,
and always have a smile on their faces. The interaction with the guests is
amazing. They see the person, listen to the person and work around what the
person needs and wants.
My sister Julie has learning
difficulties and always enjoys holidays or breaks away from her care home. Being
at Sandpipers gave her and me the chance to relax and be around likeminded
people in similar situations. The Revitalise staff spoke to Julie, not me, when
asking her a question. This was refreshing as often people don’t see the person
who has a disability and typically speak to the carer. After a short while, all
the staff knew Julie’s name and engaged so well with her.
We also hired a wheelchair for
Julie as she sometimes has walking difficulties. If you wish to hire a
wheelchair, you can contact the centre and they will arrange a local firm to
drop a wheelchair off for you and then take it away when you leave.
The trips and outings are planned
with precision and Sandpipers have three specialised buses that can accommodate
wheelchair users. We visited Liverpool and saw the Blackpool Illuminations plus
there were trips to Bolton Market and Oswaldtwistle Hall. All are included in
the cost of the holiday, except the entry fees, and a good day out is had by
the guests who are fully supported by the care staff and volunteers.
It's worth noting that Revitalise
caters for a variety of different people and disabilities. People are brought
together because they are looking for a holiday that offers them the chance to
try new things, make new friends and enjoy live entertainment. Sandpipers is an
uplifting centre, but one does have times when it can be very emotional, but
everyone comes away with a spirit of wellbeing, friendship and a wish to
Many guests return two or three
times per year to meet up with friends they have made at Revitalise. Whether
you choose to come on your own or with a carer, a sense of relaxation and
wellbeing surrounds you. One guest told me if she brings her carer it ‘cramps
her style’ – well she certainly had style and was really enjoying herself.
Sandpipers also boasts a
hydro-pool – the only centre out of the three to do so – which is used for
pleasure and exercise by the guests. It is warm water which is ‘just what the
doctor ordered’. It is well used and with the help of staff and volunteers the
guests can take full advantage of the pool whatever their disability. A
hairdresser, aromatherapy massage and beauty treatments are also available for
The entertainment at the centre
ranges from the well-planned outings to the speciality themed weeks. Quiz
Nights, Bingo and evening entertainment are included with live singers and
comedians. There is also a bar and lounge area to sit with your new-found
Sandpipers also has dedicated
weeks for those aged 18-40 called Club Revitalise, weeks for the Young at Heart
and specialised weeks throughout the year called Treasured Moments for guests
with Alzheimer’s and Dementia. This is the versatility of the Revitalise Team
as they work hard to ensure that their guests get the right support and the
carer gets the chance to relax knowing that someone is around to help with
their loved one.
Sandpipers is one of three
holiday centres that Revitalise own. Jubilee Lodge is in Chigwell, Essex,
positioned on the edge of Epping Forest. Netley Waterside House is in Southampton,
Hampshire, and boasts a landscaped garden that leads down to the Southampton
Waters. All three centres are of a high standard and have won many awards.
As a national charity, there are
many ways to support Revitalise and help their worthwhile cause from organising
fundraising events, coffee mornings, marathons and much more.
Life is a box of chocolates said Forest Gump – you never know what you're gonna get! Well, life can be very difficult for many disabled people, but their life still goes on in whatever shape the ‘chocolate’ is.
Revitalise offer a holiday experience to be with caring, wonderful people and, ultimately, allows the disabled person and carer to get the break they deserve.
Travel Advisor recommends Revitalise
17 people found this feature helpful