Volunteering on a Sense Holiday with Zead was such a great memory. Zead is an enthusiastic 15 year old who loves spending time with other young people. He enjoys trips to the beach and zoo, and he’s always keen to try new things.
On his adventure, Zead was paired with me. Usually I’m busy studying to be a student nurse, but as a Sense Holiday volunteer, my role for the week was to help Zead have the best time possible; supporting him to have fun, interact with his peers, take part in activities and make choices.
Zead doesn’t have any formal communication; rather he uses facial expressions, gestures and vocalisations to express himself.
Over the week, I spent time learning about his likes and dislikes and became a bit of an expert in Zead’s communication methods.
I was able to create lots of opportunities for Zead to make choices about his holiday – from what he ate for lunch and what activities he took part in, to when it was time to head to bed!
Volunteering was an unforgettable experience
I have some great memories of chilling with Zead in a hot tub and supporting him to have a go at rock climbing. There was one brilliant day we spent building sandcastles and covering each other in sand on the beach!
It was great to see how confident and relaxed Zead felt during our canoeing trip on the River Wye. Instead of shying away from the water or the rocky boat, Zead just lit up, rowing with his hand, splashing, laughing and shouting. He enjoyed splashing his way down that river so much that we were ankle deep in water by the end, but it was totally worth it!
I felt that by the end of the trip we’d really developed a unique relationship. Zead had a great time and I’ll never forget those special moments and pride I feel in helping with everything that Zead achieved.
As a Sense Holiday volunteer, you’ll meet new people, try new challenges, explore new ways of communicating and visit new places – all whilst supporting disabled people to enjoy these experiences, too. If this sounds like your kind of holiday, then why not join us this year and become a Sense Holiday volunteer.