Hi! Welcome to the website for Oundle School Mencap Holidays, or OSMH. OSMH is a small, volunteer-run charity which provides annual residential and camping holidays for children and young people with learning difficulties. If there’s any information you want that you can’t find here, please use the contact details on the right to get in touch.
Every summer, we enjoy a fantastic week in Oundle – just have a look at our brilliant video below for proof of how much fun we had in 2015. If anyone wants to offer any feedback on the week, please find a form under the ‘more about us’ link on the right.
2017 Dates: TBC
Take a look at the film of our brilliant ‘Underwater’ holiday in 2016 to get an idea about what we get up to!!
We currently run two holidays. The Summer Holiday is a week long residential holiday for children and young people aged 8 -18 years old. This holiday is hosted by Oundle School, who give us the use of two of their boarding houses for the whole week. On-site we do a range of activities from swimming to finger painting, trampolining to dressing up. There are also almost daily trips out to places such as the seaside, adventure parks or the zoo.
Our camping holiday ran for the first time in 2012. It was a long weekend for young adults aged 18 – 25 who were sleeping under canvas and cooking their own food, as well as having a range of adventures off-site. We’re indebted to the Northamptonshire Guides for their support, not least lending the camping equipment for the holiday.
Children and Campers
The children and young people who attend our holidays have a range of learning difficulties and may also have physical disabilities or medical conditions. We offer places to children whose challenging behaviour or specialist medical needs mean they may be excluded from other holidays. We also accommodate those who cannot afford the high price of many commercial respite care schemes. We keep our costs low by raising funds to cover more than 50% of the cost of the holidays, and because all of our staff are volunteers. For more information about applying for a place for your child, have a look at the Families page.
OSMH would be nothing without the enormous and dedicated team of volunteers who run the charity, organise the holidays and work one-to-one with the children and young people who attend. In total volunteers contribute over 16,000 hours each year to our work. For more about how the holidays are structured, and info about our senior team, have a look here. We try to meet the highest standards in everything we do, and were recently delighted when our Holiday Leader Kate Taylor was awarded a national Outstanding Achievement Award, presented at the Mencap AGM in October 2012.
We’re also indebted to all of those who raise or donate funds to support our work. This website is an opportunity to thank all of these dedicated supporters who have often put themselves through gruelling experiences on our behalf – anyone fancy a marathon in the Sahara? or a trip on a tandem around the four corners of the UK? No, nor me! But events like these, any many more, have raised thousands of pounds for all those boring expenses that funding organisations are often uninterested in paying for – like insurance premiums, buses, poster paint and wet wipes! If you’re interested in supporting us financially, or by making a donation in kind, have a look here.