This year GAMA ran the Accessible Camping Area for The Sunrise Celebration. The event was held on site at the back of Chepstow Racecourse – it had beautiful views but quite difficult access to and from the main roads.

The actual Gama camping area was between other set ups, and was not particularly large or flat. There was also some torrential weather at the beginning of the event, making some of the track ways impassable. However, for most people in the Gama area, they reported that they had a great time, and that Gama had really helped them enjoy and survive the festival.

There were a total of about 40 families/groups that made use of the Gama facilities and most camped with us. Of this we know about 25 of the groups beforehand, so we had to improvise to accommodate many of the others. Here are some samples of the feedback we have received

Sunrise Festival 2014

Feedback Received:

Hello Jos and Team,

Warning, this is really really long!!!!

As ever, and I know we tell you every year, huge thanks.*=D> applause
We were so touched by the effort you made for us considering we are such a complicated additional needs group.*8-| rolling eyes
Not many people can locate, set-up and assist with both the physically disabled but also those with ‘hidden’ issues such as Autism, severe CFS, bladder and bowel issues etc.
Year after year, you never cease to amaze us with your compassion, tolerance and down right happy attitude.How do you do it?? I could use some!

My lot wanted to give you some feedback -both good and bad – so that you can keep up the good work!*:x lovestruck

You made arrival smooth with instructions that were clear which immediately put our ASD adults and children at ease.
Every member of GAMA came over to check during set-up and after.
Nothing was too much trouble.
Considering the GAMA field layout this time it was ever so impressive that you all achieved what you did. Crikey, weren’t there a lot of us?!

Having locked loos was a boon too: great thinking batwoman.*:-)/\:-) high five
(A light/torch/lantern inside would have been great, but hey, we can’t have everything 😉 and I think we (us lot on GAMA, not jut all of you) need to make it clear to other campers that you don’t have to be disabled [with lack of leg use like Alex] to use the disabled loos as we had three party members with severe urge incontinence who were criticised by other GAMA campers for using the loo).
We all agree that it was cosy and so we couldn’t easily get out the rollators etc, *:D big grinbut we did have crutches and carers to carry things over-we also noticed how all wheelchair users had clear access without anything in the way-that’s what we mean when we talk about thoughtfulness.

It was Bronco’s first ever festival (first holiday in 9 years) as he’s been so fearful of leaving the house (Asperger’s/anxiety etc) and he feels that he truly made friends with the whole team. He felt safe, secure and relaxed -a rather impressive feat for you to have all pulled off – -thanks. He is like a changed young man.

The only real criticisms are things well beyond your control-like not enough bins, water issues etc.

Of course, we did have the upset where one of our younger party members was moaned at by another GAMA resident for using the disabled loo (ironic as he is disabled, just ‘hidden’ and has serious bladder and bowel incontinence) but this couldn’t have been avoided really – you get those folk everywhere and they moaned at our kids about a few things based upon use of the loo and tripping over guy ropes [oh dear, oh dear *;) winking]…thankfully our lot were not worried about letting you guys know and you reassured all of them, so really you all did the right thing for us.

We would appreciate the chance for GAMA to be more separate again, with wristbands to show we ‘live’ there but I think that is because that’s what the Autistic lot were expecting so it threw them off kilter.
Also, thanks for the opportunity to keep our mobiles running- vital contact links for ASD children and adults (crikey we had five of those just in our group!).

Arrival-fab – help as needed
Throughout-help whenever required- even if it was just an ear, which is sometimes even more valuable than physical stuff
Leaving -hee hee , what a giggle with one way in and one way out and the long queue, but again, well managed.

Jos and GAMA Guys, I do not know what to say as I can’t actually get it all into an email without it turning into War and Peace, so I will shut up now and leave it as the title says, “Huge Thanks for Sunrise:)”*=D> applause*:D big grin*:x lovestruck*~^o^~ cheer

Big Love,
See you soon

Dear Jos

I wanted to tell them how wonderful, sweet and helpful you and your lovely team were in the disabled section at the Sunrise Festival this year.

You were all kind and always there and available, without being overly gushing or asking me if I needed help every five minutes – you had just the right balance. I don’t know what I would have done without you, and you enhanced my whole festival experience a million percent.

Please pass this on to your company as I think you’re wonderful and hope to see you there next year. Love and blessings,

Hello to all you lovely people at Gamma, I would just like to thank you all most sincerely for making Sunrise special for me. The help I was given in setting up & packing up was in calculable plus the recharging my mobility scooter not to mention the cleaning all the straw etc. that clogged my wheels continuously I am totally indebted & I look forward to seeing you all next year & I trust I wasn’t too much trouble,
Kind regards L.S.

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