The DeafBlind International Outdoor Network exists to create unique and exciting opportunities for people with deafblindness to explore and enjoy all aspects of outdoor living. This year’s annual gathering took place near Aalborg, Northern Denmark.
These holidays bring people with deafblindness, their support staff and families together from across Europe and this year’s event attracted people from Norway, Denmark, Holland, Sweden, Scotland and England. Our group from Sense was 15 strong, consisting of six adults with deafblindness and nine people supporting.
Overall, the trip was a wonderful experience for all involved. We overcame delayed flights and a missed fishing trip in the North Sea, but there were many moments of magic and happiness.
The Monday Ramble activity session at Sense has been a regular feature in many deafblind people’s lives over the past six years. It was an opportunity created specifically to get deafblind people from across the Midlands region together to do regular, gentle exercise, and improve fitness levels.
I remember the moment really well. It was two years ago and I was sat around a campfire in Tversted, Denmark, with colleagues and newfound friends from across northern Europe. We were coming to the end of the 2014 Deafblind International Outdoor Network adventure holiday – and the subject of the next holiday came up. With a degree of trepidation, knowing what it would involve, I volunteered to host and organise it in England – and what a week it turned out to be.
I was determined that 2016 would be something memorable; a really special event. The trip to Denmark had been fantastic, as had previous trips with deafblind people to Norway and Scotland, and I felt a personal responsibility to make our event as good as we possibly could.