Patron welcomes impact of summer camp: “We’re now seeing young people who can talk about Huntington’s disease”

What an amazing time was had at the 2023 Summer Camp!

This year we were joined at Lagganlia Outdoor Centre near Aviemore by 45 young people from across Scotland, our Patron Sarah Winckless, Chair of Trustees Cat Martin and Chief Executive Alistair Haw.

And our Youth Service team made sure the five days away were jam packed with First Aid training, swimming, laser quest, abseiling, archery, tree climbing, kayaking, gorge walking and canoeing. The fun didn’t stop there – evening activities included a games night, an awards ceremony, a disco, HDs Got Talent and a visit from the Ice Cream Cart company!

Young people aged 13 to 17 took part in an HD gene discussion while the 18+ group was invited to a workshop about the HD-YAS study led by Sarah and Cat. The two groups then came together to hear about Sarah’s experience of Huntington’s disease and the importance of SHED (Sleep, Hydration, Exercise and Diet) for physical health. This was followed by a session looking at coping strategies led by Cat – APPLES: Advocacy, Peers, Positive attitude, Love, Education, Support network).

For our Patron the benefits of camp combined with the work of the youth service and the wider organisation are increasingly evident.

“We now see young people who are able to talk about Huntington’s disease; they can share what is going with them and their families because they have a good understanding, the knowledge and the language they need,” said Sarah.

Youth Service Lead Grant Walker added: “Nearly 50% of the young people were joining us for the first time, and for many it was their first time away from home. The success of this year’s camp is a huge credit to dedicated staff and volunteers, and the hard work by people across the organisation to support our young people and their families.”

We are grateful to our funding partners for making this year’s Summer Camp possible, including Short Breaks Fund, Awards For All and Thistledown Trust.

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